About 30 smugglers intercepted in Rubavu

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 29 August 2020 at 07:34

Increased operations against smuggling in Rubavu District intercepted about 30 people on Thursday, August 27, as they smuggled 28 sacks of assorted goods into the country.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said that the smugglers had 12 bales and 497 kilograms of second-hand clothes, 357 kilograms of used shoes and assorted liquors and energy drinks.

Others include eight sacks full of banned polythene bags as well as 321 pieces of varied types of banned skin bleaching lotions.

CIP Karekezi said that the suspected smugglers were intercepted at about 5:30 AM at a porous border shortly after crossing into Rwanda through in Murambi Village, Buhaza Cell of Rubavu Sector.

The goods were being sneaked into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), he said.

“The suspected smugglers were cut-off just after crossing into Rwanda, by members of security organs, who were patrolling the area and seized the 28 big sacks of goods,” CIP Karekezi added.

This came a day after the Rwanda National Police (RNP) Revenue Protection Unit (RPU) also seized other three sacks of skin bleaching lotions and one sack second-hand clothes, from smugglers, who had attempted to sneak them into the country through Lake Kivu.

CIP Karekezi said that most of the people intercepted in Rubavu smuggling goods are not the rightful owners but rather hired.

He warned against such acts of fraud, through which illegal goods such as non-biodegradable plastic bags and skin whitening lotions, oils and soaps are also brought on the Rwandan market.

"Police works with other security organs, fishing cooperatives, and the public to get information on the smugglers, which facilitates such successful operations,” the spokesperson said.

Under the East African Community Management Act, which is applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods under article 199, are auctioned.

In article 12, a retailer of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Rwf300, 000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.

On the other hand, cream and oil brands with hydroquinone and mercury, are prohibited in Rwanda under the ministerial order determining the list of cosmetics, whose use is prohibited in Rwanda; the law on organization, functioning, and competence of the Council of Pharmacists; and the law relating to the regulation and inspection of food and pharmaceutical products.

There are 1,342 listed skin bleaching products banned in Rwanda.

Some of the smuggled goods were seized