The vehicles; RAC 751C and RAB 634G, were intercepted at a Police checkpoint mounted in Rwisirabo Cell, Karangazi Sector.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region said that two people, who were driving the two vehicles at the time, were taken into custody.
“On Tuesday, Police in Nyagatare received information about consignments of minerals that had been smuggled into the country from Uganda, through an illegal border, and later loaded in two Rwandan registered vehicles,” CIP Twizeyimana said.
“The vehicles were tracked and intercepted in Karangazi; the two suspects identified as Donatien Sindayigaya, 25, who was driving Toyota Corolla RAC 751C and Eric Mupenzi, 35, who was driving the second vehicle (RAB 634G) were immediately arrested,” he added.
CIP Twizeyimana said that the exhibits were handed over to Revenue Protection Unit (RPU) while suspects are detained at Karangazi Police station pending further legal processes.
He thanked members of the public that provided “credible information on this illegal mineral business” and emphasized the role of the public in fighting and preventing crimes through timely information sharing.
Article 3 of the ministerial regulations on fighting smuggling in mineral trading, forbids “importation of minerals into Rwanda without proper documents indicating their origin and the weight at the origin, given by the right authorities.”
These minerals have to be with required trade documents and to be certified and tagged by competent authorities.
Equally, Article 4 provides 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.
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 license commits an offense.”
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.
The court also orders confiscation of any seized minerals or quarry in storage, trading or processing without a license.