NYARUGENGE: Dealer in skin bleaching products arrested with over 150 pieces

The Rwanda National Police (RNP) Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crimes (ASOC) arrested on Monday, May 9, a man in Nyarugenge District, who was allegedly supplying outlawed skin whitening creams and oils, to traders.

Primien Iyakaremye, 44, was apprehended at his home in Kadobogo Village, Nyabugogo Cell, Kigali Sector after ASOC officers found 153 pieces of assorted outlawed skin bleaching cosmetics worth Frw254,900, in his house, which he was using as store.

The impounded skin whitening cosmetics, which were banned in Rwanda, include Diproson, Caro-Light, Clear Men, Epiderm Crème and Extra Clair, among others.

Iyakaremye revealed that he was obtaining the lotions commonly known as mukorogo, from a woman he identified as Grace Uwiragiye.

He added that the said Uwiragiye lives in Rubavu District and that she was sneaked them into the country from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Iyakaremye was one of the dealers in the harmful cosmetics, who was supplying retailers in City of Kigali.

There are 1,342 listed cream and oil brands with hydroquinone and mercury, which are prohibited in Rwanda.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera warned anyone trafficking or selling the banned body bleaching products.

“Police operations against people selling skin whitening creams and oils are continuous, targeting both traffickers and those selling them in their shops," CP Kabera warned.

Iyakaremye was handed over to RIB at Kigali station for further investigation while law enforcement organs are still working together to locate and arrest Uwiragiye, the alleged supplier.

Article 266 of the law determining offenses and penalties in general, states that any person, who produces, sells, or prescribes harmful products; cosmetics or body hygiene substance or any other products derived from plants, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than Frw3 million and not more than Frw5 million or one of these penalties.

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