Police in Muhanga District are holding three people arrested over illegal mining activities.
The suspects were caught red-handed in Kanyana Cell of Rugendabari Sector on Monday during a joint operation with local authorities.
Police spokesperson for the Southern Province, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi said that this is part of the ongoing operations to fight environmental related crimes, including unlawful mining activities considered to be having ill-effects on the environment.
The suspects aged 26, 35, and 38 are all currently detained at Mushishiro Police station.
“First, they were mining illegally but also washing minerals in wells, which contaminates water,” IP Kayigi said.
Rwanda National Police (RNP) in partnership with other institutions, are currently in joint efforts to combat all activities, especially illegal mining.
In August this year, six people were arrested in Karongi District after they were found mining illegally.
Earlier in June, 30 people were also arrested in Gatsibo District over the same crime.
Early this month, five other people were arrested in Ngororero District over illegal dealings in mineral business.
“Operations are continuous in all District Police Units across the country to conserve the environment by fighting all environmental degradation acts, and mining which is one of them,” said IP Kayigi.
The operation also targets licensed mining firms that do not adhere to the environmental standards; unauthorised individuals who engage in mining especially at night, and even unlicensed people, who buy minerals from concessions illegally, according to Kayigi.
Illegal mining activities have on some occasions resulted into disasters and loss of lives.