The Rwanda National Police Marine Unit has intercepted over 400kgs of untagged minerals on Lake Kivu that were being smuggled.
The interception happened in the night of August 7, from the suspected smuggler identified as Claude Ntamubano, who was also arrested.
The Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Theobald Kanamugire, the Western region Police spokesperson, said that the arrest followed information on Ntamubano’s illegal dealings.
“At first, the Marine Unit detected some movements at about 3.00am; we searched one of the boats which Ntamubano was in at the time, and discovered 400kgs of cassiterite. Ntamubano was immediately arrested,” Kanamugire said.
“Ntamubano didn’t have documents authorizing him to transport the minerals as a legal standard; the minerals were not tagged and their origin unknown. All this is unlawful and punishable by the law,” he added.
The minerals have been handed over to the Revenue Protection Unit, a Rwanda National Police arm attached to Rwanda Revenue Authority to fight smuggling and fraud.
According to law, minerals are supposed to be tagged before they are transported by licensed dealers or companies.
Article 1 of the Ministerial Regulations No001/Minifom/2011 relating to fighting smuggling in mineral trading stipulates that nobody is allowed to purchase or sell minerals without commercial registration.
Article 4 of the same instrument indicates that transportation of minerals outside mining licensed areas (concessions and permits perimeters) is only allowed when the consignment shows the source mine, its value and when it has the right tag.
Any person, who receives or exports minerals and quarry substances without authorization, under Article 440 of the Penal Code, is liable to a term of imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of two times the amount of the value of the received or exported substances.