Police in Gatsibo District is holding twelve people, including a woman suspected of conducting illegal mining activities in local sites.
Such illegal activities are said to be the cause for some disasters.
Seven of the suspects, all residents of Remera Cell in Rugarama Sector, were arrested red-handed on Saturday, while illegally mining in a coltan site located in Cyabusheshe Cell in Gitoki Sector.
They were arrested the same day in Matunguru Cell in Rugarama Sector after they were found in possession of some 313 kilogrammes of cassiterite and tools they allegedly used in the illegal activity.
The suspects are currently detained at Kabarore Police station. They were all arrested in Police operations that focused at fighting and preventing illegal mining.
Chief Superintendent (CSP) Eric Kabera, the Gatsibo District Police Commander, who confirmed the arrests, said Police conducted, the operation with the view to combat the rampant illegal mining activities in the district.
“Minerals are natural government resources and engaging in this business requires authorisation from concerned authorities,” said CSP Kabera.
“We have seen cases whereby some of these illegal minors have died because they lack information on how extraction is conducted and at times mine in closed and dangerous sites.
“We want the illegal and risky activity to stop. In some cases we have seen members of the public coming to us with such information of people involved in these illegal activities and we urge everyone to depict this community policing spirit as we continue to work together to further promote safety and security and the rule of law.”
Illegal mining is punishable under article 438 of the Rwandan Penal Code, which attracts a jail term of up to one year and a fine of Rwf3 million to Rwf10 million.