The minerals were recovered from the house of one Vestine Murekatete, the alleged illegal dealer, who was arrested in Ndego Cell on Thursday.
Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana said that Murekatete had opened a bar in Ndego, which she was using to cover her illegal mineral trade.
“On Thursday at about 2 pm, Ndego Police station received a call from a resident in Ndego Cell reporting a woman, who had brought quantities of minerals,” CIP Twizeyimana said.
“Ndego Police station responded to the information, conducted an operation and indeed recovered eleven sacks of cassiterite, which were found hidden in one of the rooms of Murekatete’s bar, which she was using to cover her unlawful deals,” he added.
“It is said that the minerals were brought by a group of people to her house that very morning at about 6 am. Law enforcement is working together to know the origin of the minerals, which were not tagged, and all those connected to this unlawful trade,” the spokesperson explained.
Article 1 of the Ministerial Regulations No 001/Minifom/2011 relating to fighting smuggling in mineral trading stipulates that nobody is allowed to purchase or sell minerals without commercial registration.
Article 4 of the same instrument indicates that the transportation of minerals outside mining licensed areas (concessions and permits perimeters) is only allowed when the consignment shows the source mine, its value and when it has the right tag.
“This is an act of fraud and tax evasion. We thank the resident, who provided information on the unlawful act and call upon the general public to always report anything illegal and suspicious,” said CIP Twizeyimana.
Fraud, deception, obtaining another person’s property by use of false names or qualifications, is punishable with an imprisonment term of two to three years and a fine of between Rwf3 million and Rwf5 million, as stipulated under article 174 of the penal code.