They were apprehended on Wednesday in a targeted operation against environmental destruction conducted by Police with local leaders in Ntyazo Sector.
At the time of their arrest, the suspects identified as Jean Bosco Minani and Casimile Kabuye had already cut 32 trees in the gazetted forest located in Byabusunzu.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Kamari Mberabagabo, the District Police Commander (DPC) for Nyanza, said that the suspects were apprehended thanks to people’s information.
“The forest is near the new trading center where people are building houses, and some of them have the tendency of encroaching on the forest to cut trees for construction. So, when residents saw people cutting trees they called the Police and local leaders,” SP Mberabagabo explained.
He strongly warned against such environmental crimes. “Cutting trees without official authorization is a criminal offense which is punishable by law,” said the DPC.
He called for more cooperation with the public to fight against environmental degradation, through information sharing.
“We all know great importance the environment have on human lives, which we should strive to protect jointly,” he said.
“Cutting of trees without authorization in Rwanda is illegal and punishable by the law. It is considered as an act of environmental degradation, which has negative impact on nature and humans in particular.”