Following the probing and naming of main environmental polluters, by Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) across different districts, Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has launched operation to arrest the suspects. Rwanda Investigation Bureau's spokesperson Thierry Murangira told The New Times that so far 19 suspects have been arrested for environmental crimes. He said that so far those arrested are operators in the mining sector. “The offences include illegal mining, failure to fulfil mining standards and the rebellion against authority,” he said. He said the suspects arrested in Gasabo, Nyarugenge, Gakenke and Ngororero Districts are detained at RIB Stations of Kimihurura, Kicukiro, Nduba. According to the report by Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA), at least five mining companies, five clay mining activities, and four sand mining activities in the districts of Kamonyi, Muhanga, Gakenke and Ngororero were recently found to be polluting the environment from August 8 to August 14. The probe found that the mining companies were causing soil erosion, polluting rivers, wetlands and failing to rehabilitate the mining sites. The agency also found that some suspended mining operators were illegally operating without license. “Some were operating without complying with recommendations from Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study,” reads part of the report released last week. Environmental Impact Assessment is a tool used to assess the significant effects of a project or development proposal on the environment. EIAs make sure that project decision makers think about the likely effects on the environment at the earliest possible time and aim to avoid, reduce or offset those effects. According to inspectors, the investigated mining companies were also found with no employees dedicated to environmental protection. Operation continues Murangira said that the operations to arrest environmental polluters continue considering that since different environmental crimes have been recorded. Environmental crime is an illegal act which directly harms the environment. The crime which is the fourth largest criminal activity in the world is increasing by five to seven per cent every year according to reports. Environmental crime is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises, generating around USD 110 to 281 billion in criminal gains each year. It covers a wide range of unlawful activities such as illegal logging, illegal wildlife trade , illegal mining, dumping into water bodies, burning garbage, destruction of wetlands, waste trafficking among many others. “We will not have a health society if defaulters do not refrain from destroying the environment. Environment is no one's property to destroy, it is therefore everyone's responsibility to protect the environment. “A non-polluted environment is indispensable for all human being. This calls for collective responsibility against enemies of environment. RIB will not tolerate recalcitrant of environmental laws,” he added.