KAYONZA: Police arrest 15 people in operations against illegal mining and trade

At least 15 people were arrested Thursday, January 6, in Rwanda National Police (RNP) operations against illegal mining and related trade conducted in Rukara Sector, Kayonza District.

The Eastern region Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police(CIP) Hamduni Twizeyimana said that Police and local leaders first arrested four suspected illegal mineral traders in Rwimishinya Cell with 107kgs of cassiterite.

"The four people, who were reported by residents, disclosed after their arrest that they bought the minerals from a group of illegal miners. They then led Police and local leaders to the villages of Kinunga and Karagari also in Rwimishinya cell, Rukara sector where 11 people were arrested in residents' farms where they were digging in search for minerals," CIP Twizeyimana said.

The 11 people belong to a group of illegal miners that calls itself  Imparata.

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.

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