The bales had been sneaked into Rwanda from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Two of the smugglers; Diogene Zirimunda, 50, and Simeon Nsengimana, 26, were intercepted at around 6pm in Kivumu, Gisenyi Sector of Rubavu District with eight bales of used clothes.
They were at the time transporting the bales to Mbugangari market, in the vehicle registration number RAC 045K, which was also impounded.
Other two suspects identified as Eric Maniriho, 22, and Leonard Nyangoma, 42, in Ryaruhanga, Mubuga Sector of Karongi District with three bales.
According to the Western Region Police Spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the smugglers were intercepted as a result of police-public partnership through information sharing.
"Police received information from residents that there were bales of clothes stocked in the house of Maniriho located in Ryaruhanga trading center. When Police officers searched his house, they recovered three bales weighing 135kgs. Maniriho disclosed that the bales belong to Nyangoma and that they were to be taken to the market in Karongi the following day. Nyangoma was also located and arrested," CIP Karekezi said.
To Zirimunda and Nsengimana arrested in Rubavu, CIP Karekezi explained that they parked the car in the garage in Gisenyi town, waited to hide in the dark of the night to smuggle them to Mahoko market.
"Police was already tipped-off about all their moves and they were intercepted at a roadblock as they transported the bales," the Spokesperson said.
The suspects were handed over to Bwishyura and Gisenyi Police stations while the exhibits were handed over to RPU.
The majority smugglers, he said, use Lake Kivu especially at night.
In most cases, the smugglers include Rwandans and Congolese nationals. The latter smuggle the goods to the Rwandan territory and hand them over to the former before escaping back to to their country.
Under article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods and the vehicle used are auctioned while the driver is fined with US$ 5000.