Separate Police operations against illegal mineral trade have intercepted over 2.6 tonnes of cassiterite in Kayonza and Kamonyi districts. Four people were arrested in the two separate operations conducted on March 29th and 30th, respectively.
In Kayonza, a truck carrying at least 2 tonnes of cassiterite was impounded in Ndego Sector, Isangano Cell in Kibale Village.
The minerals had been smuggled into the country from the neighboring Tanzania, through a porous border in Ndego, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, said.
“After credible information about the illegal dealing, Police tracked down the vehicle Toyota Dina registration number RAB 310R, and two people who were on board at the time, were also taken into custody,” CIP Twizeyimana said.
One of the suspects, the spokesperson said, is the driver identified as Noel Pekeyake, 36, while another identified as Emmanuel Bugingo, 40, is said to be the owner of the smuggled minerals.
In another operation in Kamonyi, two women identified as Olive Uwamariya, 49, and Deborah Uwera, 35, were arrested in their separate homes in Runda Sector, Ruyenzi Cell with combined 610kgs of cassiterite concealed in nine bags.
“There was credible information that the two women were engaged in unlawful mineral business, and when the Police raided their homes it had information that they had brought other quantities of minerals,” said Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Southern region.
By law, mineral related business is conducted by licensed people and minerals are supposed to be tagged to indicate their source.