Police in Ngororero District have impounded a Toyota Land Cruiser with one tonne and 46 kilogrammes of untagged coltan, which were being smuggled.
The vehicle, registration number RAB 038E, was intercepted in the night of July 5 in Kavumu Sector.
The driver, identified as Sylvestre Harerimana, who was the only person onboard at the time, was also arrested, Chief Inspector of Police Theobald Kanamugire, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said.
The interception came less than a month after police in the same district impounded a truck that was found illegally transporting two tonnes of amethyst stones, a bright shining purple stone that is often used in pricey jewelry.
CIP Kanamugire said that the Police are on alert to deal with any illegal act, including mineral smuggling, owing to the fact that Ngororero is among the districts with a number of mining concessions.
“The law is clear; for you to deal in mineral trade you have to be licensed or given authorisation. A vehicle transporting the minerals should also bear supporting documents and minerals must be tagged to allow for tracing of originality,” he said.
“Investigations are still going on to ensure that everyone involved faces the law. At the moment, the driver of the land cruiser is under custody as investigations continue,” Kanamugire said.
“Mining is one of the major forex exchange earner for Rwanda; it should be done in a clean manner and by authorised people, following all guidelines.”
Kanamugire said mining is regulated to ensure standards and to protect the environment, but also to fight fraudulent dealings and tax evasion.