Residents of Ngororero District have been called upon to work with the Police and other organs to fight all acts of illegal mining and trade.
This follows different Rwanda National Police (RNP) operations in which scores have been arrested in the district after they were found mining minerals illegally, which they also sell to illegal mineral dealers.
In an operation conducted on Friday, August 19, Police arrested eight people in Gapfura Village, Rusororo Cell of Muhororo Sector. One of them was found in possession of 8kgs of cassiterite.
The Western Region Political and Civic Education Officer, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Mucyo Rukundo, said that this was part of the ongoing operations to fight environmental related crimes including unlawful mining activities which pose ill-effects on the environment.
“Police had information about a group of people that was engaged in illegal mining, washing and filtering minerals in Nyarigamba stream, and destroying nearby residents’ farms,” CIP Rukundo said.
He added: “Police in partnership with other security organs and local leaders, conducted an operation on Friday and arrested seven people with traditional tools, which they were using. One of them identified as Clementine Ayobangira, 40, was arrested at her home in Rusororo cell with 8kgs of cassiterite.”
CIP Rukundo residents that illegal mining can result into disasters and loss of lives, and one of the causes of environmental degradation.
He warned those engaged that operations against these crimes are continuous.
The suspects and exhibits were handed over to RIB at Ngororero station for further investigations.
Article 54 of the law N° 58/2018 of 13/08/2018 on mining and quarry operations, states that; any person, who undertakes mineral or quarry exploration, exploitation, processing or trading without a licence, commits an offence.
Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of between two and six months and a fine of not less than Frw1 million and not more than Frw5 million or only one of these penalties.
The court also orders confiscation of any seized minerals or quarry in storage, trading or processing without a license