Man arrested over selling skin bleaching lotions

On 23 June 2021 at 04:47

On Monday, June 21, Rwanda National Police (RNP) arrested a man in Gatenga Sector, Kicukiro District identified as Janvier Minani after he was found selling outlawed skin bleaching creams and oils commonly known as Mukologo.

The assorted skin whitening products were found in Minani’s shop located in Karembure Cell of Gatenga Sector.

Minani said that he started selling the banned lotions three months ago. He, however, claimed that he was not aware that the products were outlawed.

"I started selling these lotions in March and I was buying them from street vendors but I got to know that they were outlawed two weeks ago. I wanted to sell the stock I had and stop this business," said Minani.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said the arrest is part of the ongoing operations targeting anyone dealing in the outlawed skin bleaching products.

"These operations have been going on and some of those arrested in previous operations were showed to the media and Rwandans.

This is a warning to anyone still involved; these operations are continuous and are targeting shops selling these products and individuals or groups that traffic them into Rwanda," CP Kabera said.

He added: "If you have these creams and oils in your shop, I can only advise you to take them out of the shelves before you are arrested."

He commended the role of the public in identifying and reporting people dealing in skin bleaching products and called for the continued community policing spirit.

The outlawed creams and oil brands contain chemicals such as mercury and hydroquinone, which can cause liver damage, reduce resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, and increase anxiety, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Article 266 of the law determining offenses and penalties in general, states that any person, who produces, sells, or prescribes harmful products; cosmetics or body hygiene substance or any other products derived from plants, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Frw5 million or one of these penalties.