Twelve bales of smuggled clothes seized in Nyamasheke

On 2 June 2022 at 06:47

The Rwanda National Police (RNP) Marine Unit in Tuesday, May 31, impounded assorted smuggled goods, including 12 bales of clothes, which were being sneaked into Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), through Lake Kivu.

The smuggler identified as Theogene Birikunzira, 41, was also arrested at about 6:30am on the shores in Rubona Village, Nyarusange Cell of Kirimbi Sector, Nyamasheke District.

Other goods seized from Birikunzira, include 85 pairs of second-hand shoes, 97 pieces of outlawed plastic bags, 54 pieces of Movit Baby Jelly, 124 pieces of assorted banned skin bleaching products and 20 litres of petroleum.

His arrest and seizure of the smuggled goods followed credible information provided by residents earlier that day, according to Superintendent of Police (SP) Bonavanture Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region.

“Police marine had prior information that Birikunzira was to smuggle assorted goods into Rwanda from DRC, through Lake Kivu. The informer also guided marine officers Birikunzira’s arrival spot on the shores, and that is where he was arrested on arrival," SP Karekezi said.

He commended the role of communities living along the borderlines in fighting cross-border crimes such as smuggling, drug trafficking and illegal cross-border.

The suspect and exhibits were handed over to RIB at Nkombo station for further investigation.

Under article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods and automobile used in smuggling, are auctioned. The driver also faces a fine of US$5,000.

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.

Article 266 of the law determining offenses and penalties in general, states that any person, who produces, sells, or prescribes harmful products; cosmetics or body hygiene substance or any other products derived from plants, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million or one of these penalties.