Police have warned the public against smuggling, fraud and tax evasion to avoid hurting the economy.
The warning follows the seizure in Nyabihu District of over 200 bottles of smuggled premium liquor of different brands such as Amarula, Jack Daniels, Glenfiddich Whisky Moet and Chandon.
The smuggler, who was stopped at a roadblock in Rambura Sector, intended to evade taxes, Police said.
In another separate case, in the same district during police operations, two suspected smugglers with about 70 cartons of untaxed food flavors were arrested.
These smugglers had evaded taxes, worth about Rwf470, 000, according to Rwanda Revenue Authority.
Other successful interceptions involved cross-border smugglers with batches of textiles.
The Western Province police Spokesperson, Inspector of Police Théobald Kanamugire, noted that smugglers cheat the country of valuable revenues which are essential in national development.
He warned that smugglers are likely to bring substandard and harmful products into the market.
“Traders should concentrate on legitimate trade and avoid activities like smuggling and other illegal means that disrupt trade. Smuggling also encourages other misdemeanors like corruption, bribery, and also leads to the dumping of poor quality products in the market that can be harmful to consumers,” IP Kanamugire said.
“We warn members of the business community against such malpractices, and continue to seek their partnership in overcoming all manners of illegal trade. Through community policing, traders can always look out for such illegal dealings and alert police and tax authorities so that investigations can be conducted in time.”
He said that police conducts regular patrols along the border communities to ensure that all loopholes are closed.
“Rwanda enjoys commendable relations with other law enforcers in the region and we always share information on suspected smugglers – therefore, it is better to practice legitimate trade, other than indulge in illegal activities that may lead to arrest and hefty fines,” he said.
Police have conducted regular operations against smuggling, with liquors being the most intercepted goods.
None payment of required tax attracts a jail term of between six months and two years upon conviction.