At least 14 people were arrested on Saturday in Masoro Sector, Rulindo District after they were found in illegal mining activities, police said.
The suspects were caught red-handed in separate operations conducted in the cells of Cyivugiza and Shengampure, according to police
The Police spokesperson for Northern Region, Chief Inspector of Police Alex Rugigana, said that police had earlier received information from residents about people that were mining illegally in various concessions in Masoro.
The concessions are owned by Masoro mining company.
“Based on that credible information from the residents, targeted operations were conducted on the night of December 15, in various concessions in Masoro where the 14 people were arrested,” Gahigana said.
“This is an illegal act but it is also dangerous to enter into a mining concession at night; we have previously registered cases where illegal mining activities at night have resulted into loss of lives,” the spokesperson said.
He observed that such disasters and loss of lives sometimes result from tampering with weak cliffs or having no knowledge on the status of the concession.
According to Gahigana, such illegal mining activities have also affected Rusine and Sanzare rivers.
Illegal miners, he explained, in most cases have no protection gears leaving one exposed any likely danger like being hit by an object or inhaling dangerous material.
He thanked residents of Rulindo for their “improved participation and information sharing in fighting illegal mining activities.”
Five men were last October arrested in Shyorongi Sector (also Rulindo) after they was found involved in illegal mining activities, police said then.