They were arrested on Tuesday, September 13, in Gisenyi Sector, Mbugangari Cell, Rurembo Village, where the goods including second hand clothes and shoes as well as the outlawed non-biodegradable plastic bags, were recovered.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Mucyo Rukundo, the Western Region Political and Civic Education Officer (RPCEO) identified the suspects as Nyobotsimana Bihangamanwa, Uwizeyimana Kesie, and Ndori Safari.
"They were arrested with 101 pairs of shoes, 30kgs of clothes, 3800 pieces of plastic bags, tins of powdered milk, assorted gin including 14 bottles of Simba Waragi and 24 bottles of Savanna; food flavours, and skin bleaching products," CIP Rukundo said.
He thanked residents, who reported the acts of smuggling and fraud, adding that the smugglers used illegal border points to sneak the goods into Rwanda from DRC.
The suspects were handed over to RIB at Gisenyi station while the goods were handed over to Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) in Rubavu.
In article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, smuggled goods are auctioned.
A taxpayer, who commits fraud, is also subject to an administrative fine of one hundred percent (100%) of the evaded tax and a likely imprisonment of between six months and two years.
Manufacturing, use, importation or sale of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items are prohibited under article 3 of law N° 17/2019 of 10/08/2019 relating to the prohibition of manufacturing, importation, use, and sale of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items in Rwanda.
In article 10, any person, who imports plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to the dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items, and to an administrative fine equivalent to ten times the value of those plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items.
In article 11, a wholesaler of plastic carry bags and single use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Rwf700, 000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.
In article 12, a retailer of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Rwf300,000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.