Police in Ngororero District have impounded a truck that was found transporting two tons of amethyst stones that had bought by unauthorized dealer.
Amethyst is a bright shining purple stone that is often used in pricey jewelry.
According to the Western Region Police Spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Theobald Kanamugire, minerals were bought from Sovu mineral concession by one Claudine Uwingabire, who is not a licensed dealer in minerals.
“The vehicle plate number RAC 369 A, a Toyota Dyna type, was intercepted on Sunday and impounded to Ngororero Police station where the driver, Damascene Sindikubwabo, is also held as investigations proceed,” Kanamugire said.
“The law is clear; for you to deal in mineral trade you have to be licensed or given authorization documents. The vehicle transporting the minerals should also bear supporting documents. We are also still searching for Uwingabire to be charged for the crime,” he added.
The development comes a month after Police also intercepted at least 173kg of untagged minerals in Rutsiro District.
In March, Police in Rulindo District also intercepted about 600kg of Wolfram that were being smuggled and arrested two people in connection with the illegal act.
“Mining is one of the major revenue generators for Rwanda; it’s the kind of business that has to be done in a clean manner and by authorized personnel. There are clear channels that have to be followed, and going against those guidelines means going against the law, which we can’t allow,” CIP Kanamugire said.
He added that these are fraudulent dealings which are aimed at tax evasion. Minerals are supposed to be tagged before they are transported by licensed dealers or companies,”
Kanamugire said mining is also regulated to ensure standards and to protect the environment.
Article 438 of the penal code, stipulates that; “Any person who undertakes illegal research or illegally carries out commercial activities in valuable minerals, shall be liable to imprisonment of six months to one year and a fine of up to Rwf10 million.”