Prominent Karongi trader admits to smuggling, freed on bail

KARONGI - A prominent businessman in Karongi District, who was arrested alongside six Congolese nationals for smuggling goods into the country, was yesterday convicted of the crime after two weeks in detention.

KARONGI - A prominent businessman in Karongi District, who was arrested alongside six Congolese nationals for smuggling goods into the country, was yesterday convicted of the crime after two weeks in detention.

He was, however, immediately released on bail.
Eliere Ndikumana, was arrested following the seizure of smuggled goods on Lake Kivu, which were being ferried from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He was released alongside one of his alleged accomplices identified as Dunia Phillip, 31, by the Karongi Intermediate Court, after pleading guilty to the crime.

“Both of them confessed to committing the crime, which helped prosecution to easily establish the entire truth,” the presiding judge told a fully packed
courtroom.

“With Jonathan Habimana standing surety for them after depositing Rwf 800,000 on the court’s account, the two have been granted tentative release.”

The two were released a week after the release of four of their co-accused identified as Meshach Mukanirwa and Andréa Marekere both aged 38, Ushombo Rugomo, 36, and 25-year-old Safari Murungaro.

They had been arrested by a joint team of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) officials and marine forces with goods which included packs of tomato paste, various types of bathing soaps and unknown cartons of NIDO powder milk.

Upon release, Ndikumana told The New Times that he had learnt a lesson and vowed never to commit such a “careless” act again.

“I will never again be tempted to make such a mistake of evading government taxes,” he said.

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