The bales were seized on Monday, May 24, at about 2am from a group of smugglers, who had just sneaked them into Rwanda through Rukeri village, Bihungwe cell of Mudende sector.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi said that the group of smugglers, which was reported by area residents, was composed of about 20 people armed with traditional weapons including machetes.
"They were carrying 16 bales of used clothes and four bales of used shoes.
On seeing the Police, they abandoned the bales and fled to different directions but during the pursuit, officers apprehended two of them identified as Gaspard Dufitumukiza and Twagirayezu," CIP Karekezi.
As the the group was fleeing, however, they attached a local residents at his home identified as Hungu Mberamihigo and seriously injured him on the head with machetes.
Police officers rushed Mberamihigo to Gisenyi hospital where he is currently receiving medical care.
CIP Karekezi explained that smuggling of second-hand clothes and shoes is common in the night of Sunday as smugglers target Kabumba market in Bugeshi Sector which operates every Monday, while other bales are taken to Nyabihu and Kigali.
The two arrested suspects were handed over to RIB at Busasamana station for further investigation while exhibits were handed over to Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) in Rubavu.
CIP Karekezi lauded the strong partnership and information sharing between the public and Police on lawlessness including smugglers.
He said that the search for other smugglers, who also violently attacked the resident, is still underway.
Under article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods are auctioned.
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 months and two years.”
Article 121 of law determining offenses and penalties in general, states that any person who, wilfully, injures, beats or commits any serious violence against another person, commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years and not more than five years and a fine of between Rwf500, 000 and Rwf1 million.