The Western region Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi said that five of the smugglers were arrested during separate operations.
"15 bales of caguwa were seized in Gishyita Sector, Karongi District from five people, who were also arrested. Other 15 bales were impounded in Nyamyumba and 17 bales seized in Busasamana [both in Rubavu District] from unidentified people, who escaped. More than 20kgs of caguwa were also seized in Kamembe and Gashonga sectors of Rusizi District," CIP Karekezi said.
"Most of the bales were intercepted as smugglers sneaked them into Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Kivu."
The group of smugglers intercepted in Busasamana and Nyamyumba, the spokesperson said, were armed with machetes, but fled back to DRC through Lake Kivu when they realized that the security personnel were also armed.
"This is part of the ongoing countrywide operations against smuggling and dealers in outlawed products."
Under article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods and automobile used in smuggling, are auctioned.
A taxpayer, who commits fraud, is subject to an administrative fine of one hundred percent (100%) of the evaded tax.
With exception to that penalty, the Tax Administration refers the case to the Prosecution service if the taxpayer voluntarily evaded such tax, like through the use of false accounts, falsified documents or any other act punishable by law.
In case of conviction, the taxpayer can be imprisoned for a period between six months and two years.
Article 87 of law N° 026/2019 of 18/09/2019 on tax procedures states that a person who, while intending tax evasion, commits one of the following acts: use of forged documents in his or her accounts; counterfeit and use of documents or materials of the tax administration used for taxation; hiding taxable goods or assets related to business; making a declaration indicating that the taxpayer has not made sales; changing the trade name by a person prosecuted in relation to tax; fraudulent registration of trade under the name of another person; hiding accounting documents from the tax administration or damaging them; use of forged accounting records; commits an offence of tax evasion.
Upon conviction, he or she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than two (2) years and not more than five (5) years.