Public warned over cutting trees as vehicle is intercepted with trunks in Bugesera

Truck recently intercepted by police carrying the local Plant(Umushikiri) (Photo: RNP Media Center)

Police in Bugesera District intercepted a vehicle full of tree trunks locally known as Umushikiri, which were allegedly cut illegally in a forest in the area.

The car registration number RAB 903J, Toyota Dyna type, was seized on July 31 in Kamabuye cell.
Umushikiri trunks are used as a raw material in the production of perfumes. It is said that the stumps are smuggled through porous borders to Uganda and Tanzania before transporting them to Asia, where they have market.
The District Police Commander, Superintendent (SP) Donat Kinani warned those involved in “any criminal activity” to desist before they are arrested.
“The law is clear, and this umushikiri business is against it (law). It is an act of environmental degradation, which we can’t allow as law enforcers,” SP Kanani said.
Article 416 of the organic law on environment, partly stipulates that anyone who illegally cuts trees in a forest or any public place, is punishable with a term of imprisonment of between six months and two years and a fine of Rwf300, 000 to Rwf2 million or one of the two penalties.
SP Kanani said they are still looking for the driver of the car, who escaped leaving the car behind.
This illegal act is normally registered in the Eastern districts of Kayonza, Gatsibo and Bugesera.
Normally, anyone who wants to cut trees first seeks authorization from authorities.
SP Emmanuel Karuranga, the Eastern Region Police Spokesperson, urged the population to be part of the campaign to protect the environment and fighting crimes in general.
“The public are crucial in this case. We need their input, by providing us with information on such wrongdoers,” SP Karuranga said.

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