Police in Burera District intercepted a vehicle, which was loaded with at least 60 bales of second-hand clothes locally known as caguwa.
The vehicle registration number RAA 613U, a Dyna, was intercepted in Gacundura Cell of Bwerere Sector on December 30.
Inspector of Police Innocent Gasasira, the Police spokesperson for the Northern region, said two people; a driver and the alleged owner of the goods, have since been arrested.
“It was a targeted operation based on real information the District Police Unit of Burera had received from a resident, and the vehicle was intercepted at the roadblock,” IP Gasasira said.
“Their dossier is being processed to be forwarded to the Prosecution. However, the owner of the smuggled clothes, after they were caught, tried to give a bribe of Rwf30,000 to the officer in charge, a crime which he will also have to answer before courts of law, ” he added.
Bribery, under article 641 of the Penal Code, attracts a term of imprisonment of between five and seven years, and a fine of two to ten times the value of the illegal benefit offered or promised.
“We have arrested a number of smugglers of second-hand clothes, especially in Burera due to its strategic location, in the recent past, but most of them are pedestrians and cyclists,” said IP Gasasira.
The impounded goods are handed over to the Revenue Protection Unit, which is charged with fighting fraud and smuggling, among others.
Article 369 of the Penal Code states that a taxpayer guilty of tax evasion shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of between three to six months and a fine equal to the evaded tax.
The law establishing Value Added Tax, in its article 200, partly stipulates a fine of 50 of the dutiable value of the goods involved, or both.
Article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also used in Rwanda, specifies a penalty of US$5000 to a driver found driving a vehicle with smuggled goods while the vehicle shall be auctioned.
If the taxpayer is guilty of deliberate tax evasion, such as false deliberate accounting entries, forgery and falsification of records or any other act punishable by law, they shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of six months to two years and a fine equal to the evaded tax.