Police in the Northern Region has arrested three men who were found trafficking 72kg of wolfram and 31 kg of cassiterite that were illegally mined.
The three suspects, identified as Rauben Musemakweri, Vincent Nsengiyumva and Emmanuel Nsabimana were apprehended following police’s intensified operation in the region on November 10.
During the operation, police also impounded two motorcycles with plate numbers, RAB 525U and RD 828F that were being used in trafficking the minerals.
According to the Northern Region Police spokesperson, Inspector of Police (IP) Innocent Gasasira, there were been reports of people stealing minerals and others involved in illegal mining, “it’s upon this background that we mounted investigations and operations that led to the arrest of the suspects.”
“Mining and transportation of minerals has its procedures and laws that have to be followed; mining and selling minerals is done by licensed companies and people only.”
Undertaking illegal research or commercial activities in valuable minerals attracts a jail term of up to one year and a fine of between Rwf3 million and Rwf10 million or one of these penalties, under article 438 of the penal code.
Rwanda National Police (RNP) established, last year, the Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) which has been instrumental in enforcing the law, preservation of environment through environmental education, practical interpretation of the environmental laws to citizens and engaging in the public environment management awareness campaign.