Two people have been arrested in Ngoma District after they were caught smuggling about 120 kilogrammes of banned polythene bags, into the country.
Tharcise Hakizimana and Theoneste Twizeyimana were apprehended by local night patrol in Mutenderi Sector on April 8, at about 5am.
They were apparently smuggling the plastic bags on a motorcycle before they were identified and intercepted by the local patrol, Police said.
“At about 5am, the local patrol trailed the two men after noticing them using an illegal border through a swamp that separates Rwanda and Burundi in Mutenderi, carrying luggage,” Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi, police spokesperson for Eastern Province, said.
“On reaching the Rwandan side, they loaded their luggage on a motorcycle but the suspects spotted the patrol coming their way, so they tried to run away leaving their luggage and motorcycle behind, but they were pursued and apprehended ,” he added.
“The local patrol then called Police at Mutenderi Police station, after confirming that they were trafficking plastic bags, and the officers arrived shortly and took over the case.”
Article 433 of the Rwandan penal code, partly states that “any person who sells polythene without authorization shall be liable to a fine of Rwf10, 000 to Rwf300, 000.
Using polythene bags also attracts a fine of up to Rwf100, 000 but in case of recidivism, the penalty is doubled.
IP Kayigi commended the role of local patrols and community policing in general against crimes, but warned anyone against selling or using the banned plastic bags.
He, however, appealed to people residing near the borderline to always be vigilant and report individuals, who attempt to use illegal pathways to traffic banned or illegal merchandise or smuggle goods.