Two people have been arrested in Ngoma District after they were allegedly caught smuggling about 120 kilogrammes of the banned polythene bags into the country.
Tharcisse Hakizimana and Theoneste Twizeyimana were apprehended by local night patrol in Mutenderi Sector on April 8, at about 5am.
By the time the two were intercepted by the local patrol, they had hired a motorcycle to ferry the contraband, Police said.
“The local patrol trailed the two men from about 5am after noticing that they used an illegal entry point through a swamp in Mutenderi at the Rwanda-Burundi border,” Inspector of Police Emmanuel Kayigi, the Police spokesperson for Eastern Province, said.
“On crossing to the Rwandan side, they loaded the luggage on a motorcycle. When they saw the patrol unit coming their way, they tried to run away, abandoning the luggage and motorcycle. They were, however, pursued and apprehended,” he added.
He said the local patrol later alerted Police at Mutenderi Police Station, who came and picked the suspects
According to Article 433 of the Penal Code, “any person who sells polythene without authorisation shall be liable to a fine of Rwf10,000 to Rwf300,000.
Using polythene bags also attracts a fine of up to Rwf100,000, but in case the person repeats the offence, the penalty is doubled.
Kayigi commended the role of local patrols and community policing in general in fighting crime, and warned the public against selling or using the banned plastic bags.
He, however, appealed to people residing near the border to always be vigilant and report individuals who attempt to use illegal entries to traffic banned or illegal merchandise or smuggle goods to evade taxes.