60 boxes of smuggled plastic bags intercepted in Burera

Police in Burera District have intercepted a vehicle loaded with 60 boxes of the banned plastic bags, which were being sneaked into the country.

Police in Burera District have intercepted a vehicle loaded with 60 boxes of the banned plastic bags, which were being sneaked into the country.

The non-biodegradable polythene bags were being smuggled alongside other illegal goods, in a vehicle registration number RAD 870M, which was also impounded, Police said.

Police spokesperson for the Northern region, Inspector of Police (IP) Innocent Gasasira said that the vehicle was intercepted by the marines unit, adding that the goods had been smuggled through Lake Burera.

“The vehicle was intercepted at about 9pm in Nyamabuye Cell of Kagogo Sector loaded with 60 boxes of plastic bags and 60 boxes of Blue Sky – an illicit gin,” IP Gasasira said.

“Two people who were trafficking the unlawful commodities have also been taken into custody,” he added.

The non-biodegradable polythene bags have been outlawed in the country since 2008.

“The law is very clear; plastic bags are banned in Rwanda and that’s why it falls in the Police responsibilities and usual operations to arrest anyone found smuggling, selling or using them, but also to sensitize the people against it,” the spokesperson said.

Two months ago, Police in Burera also seized 24, 000 pieces of plastic bags, which were being trafficked from the neighbouring Uganda, and arrested four people behind it.

In February this year, Police in Gicumbi also intercepted 60 cartons of plastic bags. In December last year, a joint operation by Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) seized 2,175 cartons (435,000 pieces) of the non-degradable bags.

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