They were arrested separately on Thursday, June 3, with 400 cartons of polythene bags.
They are Simon Turikunkiko, 27, and Christine Abamariya, 31.
Turikunkiko was intercepted in Kimironko Sector with 100 cartons while Abamariya was apprehended later in Kacyiru Sector transporting 300 packets on a motorcycle.
The duo was shown to the media on Friday, June 4, at Kigali Metropolitan Police Headquarters in Remera.7
Abamariya, one of the suspects, said that she got the plastic bags from one Diane Muhawenimana, whom she said operates in Musanze District.
"This is my second time that I got polythene bags from Muhawenimana in Musanze District to deliver them to her clients. The first time, I successfully delivered the the plastic bags to her client in Kimironko and I was paid Frw10, 000. She was going to pay me the same amount of money if I had succeded in this second attempt," Abamariya said.
She argued that she started trafficking the polythene bags after her bar was closed under the government directives to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Another suspect, Turikunkiko said he was selling the plastic bags in Kimironko market.
"I was buying a packet on Frw200 and selling it for Frw300," said Turikunkiko.
Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Africa Sendahangarwa Apollo, the deputy RNP spokesperson attributed the arrest of the suspects to the impact of community policing.
"The suspects are part of the groups that deal in banned plastic bags, which are sneaked into the Rwanda from neighbouring countries through illegal borders. The products were banned because they cause environmental degradation. We are able to identify and arrest dealers because of the good partnership with the public, who report them," said CSP Africa.
CSP Africa urged the public to take part in the protection of the environment by avoiding or reporting on such illegal business.
Efforts to trace and arrest their suppliers and all members of the rings, he said, are still underway.
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.
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 such items
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.