RUBAVU– Rwanda, yesterday, handed back to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) about 82 tonnes of smuggled minerals seized by Rwanda police.
The minerals which included cassitarite, wolframite, tungsten and Tantalum, were received by the head of Congolese delegation, Moise Nkongolo M’Vita, the chief inspector in the department of mines of DRC.
The handover, which took place at the Rwanda-DRC border in Rubavu, was effected by Rwandan Minister of Natural Resources Stanislas Kamanzi.
Kamanzi used the occasion to dismiss allegations that Rwanda was involved in plundering and illegal trade of minerals especially from the DR Congo.
“As a Government, we support any trade carried out legally. We affirm our resolve that there can’t be and will never be any violation to the national laws or international regulations that guide trade in minerals,’’ Kamanzi said.
The minerals, which had been seized over the last five months, were reportedly not tagged, and had been smuggled through porous borders.
Nkongolo commended Rwanda’s commitment to fight fraud, and pledged collaboration to stop the cross-border smuggling.
According to Ben Kagarama, the commissioner general of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), the revenue protection department’s efforts to stop smuggling across borders follows the implementation of mineral tagging scheme which made it easy to identify and detain untagged minerals as smugglers slip into the country.
The hand over ceremony was witnessed by the residents of Rubavu District.