On Saturday, February 4, the Rwanda National Police (RNP) Marine unit foiled a group of smugglers in Nkanka Sector, Rusizi District, who were attempting to sneak assorted smuggled goods into Rwanda from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Police Marine Unit seized from the smugglers over 400 pieces of Kitenge, an African fabric, and 125kgs of powdered milk.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Western region Police spokesperson said that the smugglers had used Lake Kivu to smuggle the goods into Rwanda in Miramba Village, Kinyaga Cell, Nkanka Sector in Rusizi.
“Residents in Kinyaga Cell called the Police Marine Unit at about 11pm, reporting a group of people, who were at the time unloading goods from a boat on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Police officers attached to the Marine unit were swiftly deployed but the smugglers, on seeing the Marine boat, fled back leaving the smuggled goods behind,” said SP Karekezi.
He thanked residents for the community policing spirit to fight smuggling and related illegal cross-border activities.
The impounded goods were taken to the Revenue Protection Unit (RPU) offices in Rusizi as the search for the smugglers continues.
In article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, smuggled goods are auctioned.
A taxpayer, who commits fraud, is also subject to an administrative fine of one hundred percent (100%) of the evaded tax and a likely imprisonment of between six months and two years.