Rutsiro: Seven arrested over illegal mining, assault

On 29 November 2021 at 06:31

On Saturday, November 27, Rwanda National Police (RNP) in collaboration with other security organs in Rutsiro District, arrested seven men for allegedly conducting illegal mining and assaulting security guards at the coltan concession.

The suspects are identified as Eugene Bikorimana, 23, Innocent Bavugirije, 24, Nyandwi, 20, Gervais Hakizimana, 49, Theogene Nshimiyimana, 30, Eric Uwitonze, 18, and Nzabahimana, 24.

They allegedly assaulted the security guards as they attempted to prevent them from sneaking into the mining concession owned by of Ali Group Holding located in Kazizi Village, Kabuga Cell in Mukura Sector.

The Western region Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi said that the group was attempting to sneak into the coltan concession in the night.

“At about 10pm on Saturday, Police received information from security guards of Ali Group Holding Mining Company, which is currently conducting a research on the concession, after they were beaten and injured by the group to force their way into the concession. Police swiftly conducted an operation and arrested all the seven people at the scene,” said CIP Karekezi.

CIP Karekezi warned against illegal mining activities and violent conduct.

The suspects were handed over to RIB at Rubengera station for further legal process while the victims were taken to Rubengera health center for medical treatment.

Article 54 of the law N° 58/2018 of 13/08/2018 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.

In article 121 of the law Nº68/2018 of 30/08/2018 determining offences and penalties in general; 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 not less than Rwf500, 000 and not more than Rwf1 million.

The suspects were arrested on Saturday.