Four arrested in Muhanga over illegal mining

On 19 July 2019 at 09:36

Police in Muhanga District, on Wednesday, arrested four men for allegedly conducting illegal mining activities.

The suspects; Innocent Ntihabose, 32, Bernard Iradukunda, 17, Maniragaba Rukara, 30, and Twagirimana Rutaba, 28, were caught red-handed mining in Kabacuzi Sector.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Karekezi, the Police Spokesperson for the Southern Region said that the quartet was mining cassiterite and coltan in a concession owned by the Cooperative Minerière et Artisanale de Rutobwe (COMAR), located in Butare Cell, Kabacuzi Sector.

“The suspects are not employees of the company but sneaked into the mine when employees ended their usual shift, which normally ends at 11 am. They were found in the concession at about 4:30 pm,” CIP Karekezi said.

He warned against illegal mining activities, which at times result in disasters and loss of lives. Illegal miners normally sneak into concessions at night, and in some cases, they tilt weak cliffs leading to landslides.

"It is suicidal to go into a mining concession at night or without safety gears. Mining is done by authorized professionals with professional tools," CIP Karekezi said.

“People should consider safety in whatever they do. We have had many cases of landslides caused by illegal mining, and in some cases, lives are lost," the spokesperson said.

CIP Karekezi urged the public to always provide timely information on such illegal and dangerous acts.