This was during a security operation against illegal mining in Musange conducted on December 24.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Theobald Kanamugire, the Police spokesperson for the Southern region, said that the quartet was reported by a resident of Munini village whose land was being destroyed by illegal miners.
"Recently, a resident reported a group of people, who locked him inside his house at night, went to his land and started digging in search for minerals. In the following days Police and local authorities arrested some of them with 49kgs of cassiterite mineral," said SP Kanamugire.
"In the night of December 24, residents called security organs after seeing a group of men in the same land mining. In response, the four men were arrested in the process. Mining is a regulated activity conducted in authorised areas by licensed people adhering to the law," the spokesperson said.
The arrested illegal miners were handed over to Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) at Musange station.
Article 54 of the law on mining and quarry operations, states that; “any person, who undertakes mineral or quarry exploration, exploitation, processing or trading without a licence commits an offence.”
Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of between two and six months and a fine of not less than Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties.
The court also orders confiscation of any seized minerals or quarry in storage, trading or processing without a license.