Two vehicles intercepted with smuggled goods in Rusizi

On 8 March 2021 at 06:25

Rwanda National Police (RNP), on Saturday, March 6, intercepted two Tanzanian registered trailers in Giheke Sector of Rusizi District transporting 258 rolls of smuggled electrical cables 10 boxes of assorted outlawed skin bleaching creams and oils.

Four people, including the drivers (Tanzanian nationals) and two suspected rightful owners of the smuggled goods, who were aboard the trailers coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo, were also arrested.

The operation was conducted by the Revenue Protection unit (RPU) and Rusizi District Police Unit (DPU).

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said this was a "targeted operation facilitated by credible information from a member of the public privy to the act of fraud."

"We had information about foreign registered vehicles that after unloading good in DRC, they are hired by the Rwandan smugglers to transport their goods across the border. In most cases, these smuggled are destined to Kigali," said CIP Karekezi.

He added: "Following information that these two trailers, which had just crossed into Rwanda, had smuggled goods, RPU and Rusizi DPU worked together to mount a roadblock in Byumvangoma Village, Giheke Cell in Giheke Sector where they were stopped, search and recovered the 258 rolls of electric cables and 10 boxes of banned skin bleaching lotions and oils. The drivers and the two Rwandan owners of the smuggled goods identified as Sylvestre Nsabimana and Daniel Bahore were taken into custody."

The electric cables, he said, belonged to Nsabimana while the outlawed skin whitening products in ten different types, were owned by Bahore. They were being transported to Kigali.

At least 205 rolls of electric cables are substandard and banned in Rwanda.

Under the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods and the vehicle, under article 199, are auctioned while the driver is fined of US$ 5000.

Article 266 of the law relating to offences and penalties in general, states that "any person, who produces, sells or prescribes the following prohibited substances: a drug; harmful products; cosmetics or body hygiene substances 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 Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties."