The suspects were found mining coltan and wolfram in a concessions located in Tangabo Cell of Manihira Sector, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said.
"Some of them were mining while others were filtering and washing minerals in Cyogo stream," CIP Karekezi said.
He identified the suspects as; Celestin Habumugisha, 43, Innocent Nsengiyumva, 25, Innocent Habiyaremye, 20, Celeman Biziman, 26, Celeman Ngabonziza 31 and Anasthase Nsengimana 25.
Others are; Ntawuhorakize, 24, Jean Claude Habinshuti, 25, Icyamuduha Sehungu,18, and one only identified as Senzoga, 19.
CIP Karekezi said the successful operation followed credible information provided by residents of Haniro village in Tangabo sector about a group of people engaged in illegal mining activities.
"Residents reported a group of illegal miners from Rusebeya sector that crosses to Manihira Sector to mine coltan and wolfram and cleaning their minerals in Cyogo steam. Police officers were immediately deployed in the area and they apprehended 10 members of the group," CIP Karekezi explained.
According to CIP Karekezi, the group is composed of 25 people and that the search for other members of the group is still underway.
Article 54 of the law on mining and quarry operations, states that; “any person, who undertakes mineral or quarry exploration, exploitation, processing or trading without a licence commits an offence.”
Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of between two and six months and a fine of not less than Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties.