Four men suspected of conducting illegal mining activities in Karongi District have been arrested in a police operation conducted on September 13 in Twumba Sector.
Martin Bangamwabo, Marc Nkurikiyinka, Jotham Manirafasha and Thomas Nsekanabo were apprehended September 13 at about 9:00 am while illegally mining cassiterite.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Theobald Kanamugire, Police spokesperson for the Western Province, warned that “Rwanda National Police has raised the bar high against illegal mining activities as means to protect the environment, the economy and likely disasters that arise out of such illegal and dangerous activities.”
“For one to conduct mining activities, there are proper procedures that have to be followed including acquiring a license. This is to ensure that it is done in a standard and environmental-friendly manner, ensure proper tugging to contribute to the national economy through revenues, and to ensure the safety of concessions,” CIP Kanamugire said.
He appealed to people residing near mining concessions to always report such illegal activities and urged owners of the sites to ensure security of their concessions.
Article 438 of the Rwandan penal code states 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 Rwf3 million to Rwf10 million or one of these penalties.”
Under article 439 states, any person who undertakes inappropriate techniques in mineral exploration and mining shall be liable to a fine of Rwf300, 000 to Rwf1 million.