Rutsiro: Three suspected illegal miners arrested

Police have arrested three people suspected to be involved in illegal mining activities as it steps up efforts to strengthen security as well as mitigating cases of people who die in mines.

The trio was arrested on Sunday in Rusebeya Sector, Rutsiro District, Chief Inspector of Police Innocent Gasasira, Police spokesperson for the Western region, said.

“The operation was conducted on Sunday morning by the Rwanda National Police Mobile station alongside Rusebeya Police station and local leaders in the sector, after residents called in to report people, who were digging their fields that very morning in Kabona Cell looking for minerals,” Gasasira said.

Rutsiro is mainly rich in cassiterite and coltan, which found in almost all its 13 sectors.

According to Gasasira, the increased operations are meant to fight illegal mining activities, unlawful trade in minerals and to prevent disasters and loss of lives that result from such illegal acts.

Last week, a mine collapse in the same district, killing at least two people. Eight others were rescued alive.

Gasasira said that some people enter into concessions at night and others just go in people’s fields and start digging looking for minerals.

He said that the “operations are continuous” and called upon the residents to continue providing information about people engaged in such unlawful and risky activities.

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