Four men have been arrested in Ngororero District after they were found mining coltan illegally in a gazetted forest.
They were arrested on July 16 currently held at Kavumu police station.
The four men are alleged to have cut down trees as they illegally mined.
Reacting to the arrest, the District Police Commander, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Marc Gasangwa said, “We are still investigating these people but in the meantime we are reminding the public that illegal mining and tree felling are practices that are punishable by law.”
“There are legal channels to authorize miners; you must have a license and all the required equipment for safe mining.”
He further pointed out that; “Mining requires skills and knowledge, if it’s done wrongly, a lot is at risk including people’s lives that’s why it’s a profession that requires expertise.”
SSP Gasangwa outlined a number of laws that punish illegal cutting and transportation of trees – among them being the organic law determining the modalities of protection, conservation and promotion of environment in Rwanda prohibits the felling of trees in forests and protected areas.
“By law, to cut down trees, someone has to first acquire a license from the Sector which these people did not have. Deforestation contributes to environment degradation, which in one way or another has an effect on people’s health and the economy in general and we can’t allow that,” he said.
As per the penal code, the suspects risk a jail term of up to one year and a fine of up to Rwf 10 million for illegal mining as stipulated in article 438.
With regards to tree-cutting SSP Gasangwa pointed out that Article 416 of the Rwanda Penal Code provides for punishment to anyone who cuts trees or who causes others to do so – and the punishments can be a prison term of six months to two years and a fine of Rwf300, 000 to Rwf2 million or one of these penalties.
RNP established and Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) that operates under the Criminal Investigation Department, and mandated to protect the environment in all aspects, including air space, forestry, waters , biodiversity, as well as the enforcement of different legal instruments.
RAB mired in financial mismanagement, officials apologize
Shimon Peres, former Israeli president, dies at 93
Syrian troops launch major ground assault for Aleppo
Germany: Dresden mosque bombed in ’xenophobic’ attack
UN Human Rights Council discusses situations in DR Congo, Libya, Ukraine and Burundi
|READ MORE ARTICLES ABOUT "News"...|
As we know to do mining we must have a license and all the required equipment for safe mining, mining requires also skills and knowledge, if itâ€™s done wrongly, a lot is at risk including peopleâ€™s lives thatâ€™s why itâ€™s a profession that requires expertise.Let work together with Rwanda National Police for fighting illegal mining