Ferdinand Ndayisaba, 55, Canisius Dufatanye, 34, and Pascal Hakizimuremyi, 30, were arrested on January 20, following information from local residents about their unlawful mineral exploration.
At the time of their arrest, the trio was found in possession of 10kgs of Cassiterite, which they had already mined.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said that the suspects were mining Cassiterite in residents’ farms.
“According to the residents, these three men have been mining Cassiterite in unutilized land, whose owners live in City of Kigali. These repeated illegal practices prompted the neighboring residents to call the Police, and the suspects were arrested red-handed after mining 10kgs of Cassiterite, and seized their tools” CIP Karekezi said.
Their arrest came two weeks after another man was apprehended in the same district, Gatumba Sector where he was found mining Cassiterite in residents’ gardens.
“Mining and related trade is regulated and conducted by licensed people in legally authorized sites; contrary to that you will be breaking the law and you will be arrested to face the law,” CIP Karekezi warned.
Article 54 of the law 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 may order confiscation of any seized minerals in storage, trading or processing without a license.