NYAGATARE - Five men, among them three Tanzanian nationals, are in custody at Nyagatare Police Station over cattle rustling.
According to Police, the suspected rustlers were arrested, last Friday, after crossing to Rwimiyaga Sector from Tanzania at a porous border near River Akagera.
Police said that the suspects had stolen 10 cows from a Tanzanian farmer, which they tried to sell through their Rwandan accomplices.
Speaking from the Police post on Monday, one of the suspects, George Sebutuku, denied involvement in the theft but claimed he had bought the cows from a Tanzanian national.
“I met a Tanzanian who wanted to sell his cows to me. We agreed and later sent me the cows through other people and I paid him,” he argued.
“I later arranged with another cattle dealer on our side who would buy them at Rwf 750,000, but when we met at a certain bar, Police arrested me”.
One of the Tanzanian suspects, William Bado, a local herdsman in the Karagwe area, said that they were hired by a local businessman known as Deo Kashapule who directed them to drive the cows to Rwanda.
“He called us and promised to pay us if we helped him to supply cows to Rwanda. We did not know his intentions,” he said.
Police said they were yet to decide whether the Tanzanian suspects would be deported without charge.
“For these foreign suspects, we are working with concerned authorities in the district to decide if any legal action should be taken against them,” a police official at the Nyagatare police post said.
Residents were warned to be vigilant and help Police to report any cases of cattle rustling.