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Rwanda National Police

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Assorted smuggled goods seized, four arrested

Assorted smuggled goods, including second-hand clothes, powered milk other outlawed items have been seized from smugglers in separate Police operations conducted in the districts of Nyagatare, Rusizi and Rubavu.

At least four people were arrested in connection with the illegal acts.

Five bales of used clothes were seized from smugglers; two in Nyagatare where one suspect was arrested, and three other bales in Rusizi where smugglers managed to flee during the operations conducted on Monday, May 13.

Meanwhile, during the operations conducted in Rubavu District on Tuesday, May 14, Police arrested three people in two separate operations conducted in Rugerero sector, Muhira cell.

Two of the suspects were intercepted as they transported assorted smuggled items, including 85 rolls of electric cables, 750 Supermatch cigarette packs, 12 tins of powdered milk, 369 pieces of the banned skin bleaching lotions, and 20 pieces of Simba waragi, a banned gin.

The goods had been sneaked into Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), through a porous border point in Bisizi, also in Rubavu, according to Superintendent of Police SP Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region.

"The two suspects were intercepted as they delivered the goods to the alleged rightful owner in Mahoko, who is yet to be arrested," SP Karekezi said.

Another suspect was found in possession of 560 pieces of outlawed skin whitening cosmetics, 90 cartons of plastic bags and four weighing scales.

The suspect was at the time transporting them on a motorcycle registration number RD 522Q, which was also impounded.

Under article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods are auctioned.

A motor-vehicle intercepted with smuggled goods is also auctioned and the driver slapped a fine of US$5000.

A taxpayer, who commits fraud, is also subject to an administrative fine of one hundred percent (100%) of the evaded tax and a likely imprisonment of between six months and two years.

Article 87 of the law on tax procedures provides an imprisonment of between 2 and 5 years, for tax evasion.

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.