Police in Gicumbi District have arrested a man for illegally cutting down about two hectares of a gazetted forest in Rushaki Sector.
The suspect together with other people still at large allegedly cut the trees on the state land in Karurama Cell to burn charcoal.
The suspect was caught red-handed on March 15 while burning charcoal, although his accomplices managed to flee the scene after noticing the Police, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Northern region, said.
“Residents of Karurama saw people felling trees and burning charcoal at night in the protected forest and they immediately called the Police,” the spokesperson said.
“Investigations have so far identified accomplices, they will also be traced and arrested and charged with cutting trees in a classified forest or protected areas as stipulated under article 416 of the Rwandan penal code,” CIP Twizeyimana said.
The mentioned article partly states that any person who illegally cuts trees or causes others to do so in a classified forests, protected areas and national parks, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of six months to two years and a fine of Rwf300, 000 to Rwf2 million or one of these penalties.
Police commended residents for the community policing act to protect the environment and ensure that such people who degrade the ecosystem are arrested.