Three arrested over illegal trade in petroleum products

A Police operation in Muhima Sector of Nyarugenge District, on September 11, arrested three men in connection with illegally dealing in petroleum products

The suspects were at the time of their arrest found with 20 jerrycans (400 litres) of diesel, police said.

Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali, Supt. Emmanuel Hitayezu, identified the suspects as Monewa Bashikungoma, Jean Marie Vianney Habyarimana and Jean Sauveur Baziriho.

The arrest came about four months after a similar operation (also in Muhima) apprehended two other men, who were also involved in illegal petroleum dealings.

“There was information about a group of people in Muhima who were in illegal fuel trade. They were arrested red-handed offloading the jerrycans from a truck and selling them cheaply on the black market,” Supt. Hitayezu said.

He added: “They are currently detained at Nyarugenge Police station. This kind of trade in inflammables is very dangerous and too risky, that’s why there are clear rules and guidelines on who should deal in it and where they should be sold… where they are easily controlled to prevent disaster and loss of life.”

He singled out an incident in May, (also in Nyarugenge) where petrol and diesel that were being sold on black market caused fire, which killed two children.

Under the law, petroleum products are sold by only authorised dealers – petrol stations.

“There are strong regulations on how petroleum products are packaged, transported and stored. Any attempt to ignore the standards implies that you are putting lives of many at risk, which can’t be allowed,” said Supt. HItayezu.

He warned that operations will continue against such illegal and dangerous dealings, and appealed to the general public to join efforts against such acts by reporting those involved.