Police spokesperson for the Southern Province, Chief Inspector Police Emmanuel Kayigi identified the suspects as Janvier Hasigayiki, 23, Fulgence Tuyisenge, 18, and Jean Paul Nyandwi, 24.
They were at the time found with 250 kilogrammes coltan, which they had already mined.
“We got to know about the illegal mining activity from the people who called the Police, and officers caught the trio red-handed at about 3pm,” CIP Kayigi said.
He sternly warned against such illegal activities which in some cases have resulted into disasters and loss of lives.
“Mining and dealing in mineral business is only conducted by authorized people, beyond that you will be breaking the law and you will be arrested,” he said.
“We have seen experiences where people are injured or killed by cliffs in mining concessions because they mine at night or sometimes are not awareness that some cliffs are very weak to prevent landslides. These are some of the risks related to illegal mining that we try to prevent,” Kayigi explained.
Article 438 of the Rwandan penal code provides 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 Rwf3 million to Rwf10 million or one of these penalties.