Francoise Musabyimana, 29, was allegedly, trafficking and selling the outlawed polythene bags as well as using them for packaging.
According to Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, Musabyimana was allegedly trafficking the non-biodegradable products from Uganda.
"Residents suspected that Musabyimana sells plastic bags. They also continued to see her using the outlawed products as packages, which prompted them to report the illegal acts," said CIP Twizeyimana.
He added: "At about 5pm on Wednesday, Police officers searched her shop where 1200 pieces of plastic bags (six cartons) were recovered. She was immediately taken into custody for the unlawful act."
Article 10 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, states that 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 of the same legal instrument, a retailer of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Rwf300, 000 and seizure of those plastic carry bags or other items in the same category.
Meanwhile, Musabyimana admitted, after her arrest, that she is supplied by other traffickers, who sneak polythene bags into Rwanda through porous borders and transport them on bicycles through Ngarama Sector, also in Gatsibo.
CIP Twizeyimana thanked the residents for their community policing spirit and neighbourhood watch against such acts of environmental degradation and other criminal acts.