The polythene bags were seized from one Damascene Tumwisigye, 37, in Mungera village, Kabuga Cell of Manyagiro Sector, who was also arrested.
The Northern Region Political and Civic Education Officer (RPCEO), Superintendent of Police (SP) Alex Ndayisenga said that Police was tipped off by a resident about Tumwisigye’s unlawful act.
"Tumwisigye was transporting a sack containing 494 cartons of plastic bags on a bicycle heading to Gicumbi town. He was reported by a suspicious and responsive resident, who called the Police," SP Ndayisenga said.
Tumwisigye was allegedly hired by a trader in Gicumbi town only identified as Emmanuel, to smuggle the outlawed polythene bags into Rwanda from Uganda. He was intercepted as he delivered the banned harmful packaging products to Emmanuel.
SP Ndayisenga commended the resident, who shared information leading to the arrest of the suspect and seizure of the illicit goods.
He further warned cyclists and motorcyclists against facilitating smugglers to transport their goods.
The suspect and exhibits were handed over to RIB at Kaniga station for further investigations while the search of Emmanuel is still ongoing.
Manufacturing, use, importation or sale of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items are prohibited under article 3 of law N° 17/2019 of 10/08/2019 relating to the prohibition of manufacturing, importation, use, and sale of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items in Rwanda.
In article 10, any person, who imports plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to the dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items, and to an administrative fine equivalent to ten times the value of those plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items.
In article 11, a wholesaler of plastic carry bags and single use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Rwf700, 000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.
In article 12, a retailer of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of three hundred thousand Rwandan francs (Rwf300,000) and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.