The cows were recovered on Monday, February 22, from one Jean Bosco Bahati, a butcher operating in Shenyeri village, Kibirizi cell of Kibirizi sector.
Bahati is still at large.
The Police spokesperson for the Southern region, Superintendent of Police (SP) Theobald Kanamugire, said that following cases of cattle theft especially in the sectors of Kibirizi and Ndora, Police and other partners in security and community policing have been working together to identify and arrest members of this racket.
"In the latest operation conducted in the night of February 21, security organs first arrested the alleged ringleader of the racket identified as Emmanuel Mbagire, 40, in Kibirizi, who provided further information about four cows that they sold to Bahati, and which he was yet to slaughter.
Indeed, the four cows were found at Bahati’s home. He had locked a cow and its calf in one of the bedrooms," SP Kanamugire said.
Bahati was allegedly buying the stolen cows from thieves and slaughtering them at night.
The cow and its calf had been stolen from one Jean Mugemana, a resident of Ndora sector.
"In the last two months, 14 cows have been stolen; nine in Kibirizi and five in Ndora. In response, security organs have so far recovered seven of them including the four cows found at Bahati’s home, and arrested eight suspected cattle thieves," SP Kanamugire said.
He added that operations are still underway to arrest all members of the theft ring.
"Residents are playing an important role in these operations against cattle theft with credible information on people suspected to be involved. We call for continued partnership and reporting other members of the ring and their whereabouts," the spokesperson said.
Article 166 of the law relating to offences and penalties in general, stipulates that any person convicted for theft 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 Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf2 million, a community service in a period of six (6) months or only one of these penalties.
However, in article 167, the penalty doubles if the crime was committed at night or by more than one person.