Anne Marie Uwineza 34, Furaha Nyiraneza, 29, and Alice Niyonsenga, 28, were arrested in Kamembe taxi-park.
The Western region Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi said the smugglers were at the time loading the fabrics in a Kigali-bound passenger service vehicle.
"RPU officers during inspection in the taxi-park, got suspicious when they saw people loading goods in the bus. They requested them to produce invoices, which they did not have, prompting seizure of the consignments and subsequent arrest of owners," CIP Karekezi said.
108 pieces of kitenge belonged to Uwineza, 100 to Nyiraneza while Niyonsenga owned 100 pieces.
Meanwhile, the fourth member of the smuggling group identified as Sophie Mukanyandwi, managed to flee.
Mukanyandwi also owned 100 pieces of the traditional fabric.
All the fabrics were smuggled into Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
How the clothes are smuggled
They ring would buy big quantities of the fabrics in DRC, pay taxes for only 100 pieces. It’s the same receipt they would use to evade taxes as they sneaked in similar quantities at different intervals using the tax receipt.
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.
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.”