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Police Arrests Two Over Theft of 800kgs of minerals

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Police Arrests Two Over Theft of 800kgs of minerals

Police in Rulindo District is holding two men, who were intercepted transporting about 800kgs of cassiterite.

The minerals are suspected to have been stolen from Rutongo Mines, Police said.

According to the Northern Region Police Spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the duo identified as Daniel Uwamahoro and Thacien Munyaneza was transporting the untagged mineral in a Toyota Hilux with plate number RAA 427T.

The suspects are currently held at Ntarabana Police station as investigation continues.

“The vehicle was intercepted on Sunday at about 6pm, in Kajevuba Cell of Ntarabana Sector. The manner in which they had packed the minerals signaled that something was wrong, but again, they also didn’t have a mineral exploration or trade license,” CIP Twizeyimana said.

He added: “In the process of interrogations, the two claimed that they were employees of Rutongo Mines but later we verified with Rutongo Mines and established that they have never been their employees.”

Although the suspects later during interrogation confessed that they stole the minerals from Rutongo mines with the help of miners at the concession, the spokesperson said they will proceed with thorough investigations to establish the origin of the minerals before handing them to the rightful owners.

Currently, no one has claimed responsibility of the minerals.

In January last year, police in Rulindo also arrested two men, who had stolen 419 kgs of cassiterite minerals from Rutongo mining concession.

Still in the same district, in March last year, some 600 kgs of untagged minerals were seized by police as they were being smuggled in two vehicles.

July the same year also in Rulindo, police recovered about 540kgs of minerals that had been stolen from Rutongo mining concession, and arrested the prime suspect.

According to the spokesperson, police has for long tightened a grip on illegal mineral trade.

“Minerals are supposed to be tagged before they are transported from one place to another, either within or outside the country, and by licensed people or companies. These are fraudulent dealings that lead to tax evasion,” he said.

Article 438 of the penal code, stipulates that; “Any person who undertakes illegal research or illegally carries out commercial activities in valuable minerals, shall be liable to imprisonment of six months to one year and a fine of up to Rwf10 million.”

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