Rwanda National Police has arrested 21 people in Gatsibo District, who were mining coltan illegally.
The men were arrested December 22, at the scene in Ndama Village with 20 kgs of coltan and tools including spades, pestle and machetes, which they were using to extract the mineral.
They are all held at Kabarole Police Station.
Mining activities in Rwanda are conducted in accordance with the law protecting the environment and by the people with legal documents.
It is in this regard that Gatsibo District officials stopped residents from mining in areas which are not environmental-friendly.
Supt. Benoit Nsengiyumva, the Eastern Region Police Spokesperson says some people have defied the regulations and resorted to doing it illegally, especially during night hours.
He warned all those who could be involved in such illegal acts, adding that illegal mining poses a danger to people’s lives and to the environment.