The two suspected smugglers were arrested on Tuesday, February 23, in Nkoma Cell, Tabagwe Sector with 11 bales of Caguwa, which were sneaked into Rwanda from the neighbouring Uganda, through a porous border.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, said residents shared information with the Police about bales of clothes that had been smuggled into Rwanda through an illegal border point in Tabagwe.
"Police, local leaders and members of other security organs went to two identified homes in Nkoma Cell where they recovered 11 bales. Eight bales were found in the house of one Francois Nshimiyimana and three others recovered in the house of one Edinace Nyiraguhigwa," said CIP Twizeyimana.
Those arrested include Nshimiyimana’s wife and one Emmanuel Tuyizere, who is suspected to have smuggled the three bales and hid them in his mother’s (Nyiraguhigwa) house.
"The suspects are currently detained at Tabagwe Police station while the bales of Caguwa were handed over to the Revenue Protection Unit in Nyagatare. Police and other security organs are working with local leaders and communities to search for and arrest Nshimiyimana, who is a suspected ringleader," the spokesperson said.
"Smuggling is a criminal act as it includes tax evasion. Besides, these people use porous borders, which is also unlawful but also use these remote routes at night which is equally risky to their lives."
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 (6) months and two (2) years.”
Under the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods under article 199, are auctioned.
In case a vehicle was used in fraud and smuggling, it is also impounded, auctioned and the driver slapped a fine of US$5000.