Florence Nyinawamuntu, 26, was intercepted at a Police check-point along Kabaya-Mukamira road, traveling in a public vehicle when it was stopped and searched in Jomba Sector.
“Police officers on their routine duty stopped and searched the public vehicle in which Nyinawamuntu was traveling, and recovered 300 cartons of the outlawed plastic bags belonging to her. She was immediately arrested and taken to Jomba police station alongside the exhibits, for further management,” Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson of the Western region, said.
It is said that the non-biodegradable products were sneaked into the country through a porous border in Rubavu from where Nyinawamuntu collected them.
At the time of her arrest, she was delivering them to other dealers in Muhanga District. She is suspected to be among the traffickers and distributors of the outlawed products in different parts of the country.
CIP Karekezi warned of increased operations against smuggling and trafficking of outlawed products in particular, including plastic bags.
He advised the public to use the approved environmental friendly and hygienic packaging bags instead of indulging in such criminal acts.
Late last month, Police in Nyagatare District arrested another man with 18, 600 pieces of non-biodegradable plastic bags.
In June, Police in Gisagara District seized about 20 cartons (4, 000 pieces) of banned non-biodegradable plastic bags from a suspected trafficker.
Other 314 cartons (62,800 pieces) of the outlawed products were seized from five suspected dealers in Kayonza and Burera districts back in February.
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.
Under article 10, any person, who imports plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items, is liable to dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items, and to an administrative fine equivalent to ten times of the value of those plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items.
In article 12, a retailer of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Rwf 300, 000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.