The Western region Police spokesperson, Superintendent of Police (SP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi said that Vedaste Habimana, 38, and Emmanuel Hitimana, 20, were arrested red-handed mining coltan in Bereshi Village, Tetero Cell, Kavumu Sector.
“These are ongoing operations against illegal mining activities and illegal trade in minerals conducted by the Police, other security organs and local leaders with the support of the local residents, who provide information on individuals or groups involved," said SP Karekezi.
The arrest of Habimana and Hitimana, he added, followed reports of people, who steal minerals from a coltan concession in Bureshi village owned by NL Mining Company.
"The two suspects were caught in the mining concession on Thursday at about 6pm. They are part of a group engaged in illegal mining and illegal trade, although others managed to flee during the operation. They will be located and arrested to face charges for their alleged unlawful acts," SP Karekezi added.
He further stressed that conducting mining activities requires skills, knowledge and use of specialized tools to prevent possible risks including loss of people’s lives.
The suspects were handed over to RIB at Kavumu station for further legal process
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.