Fifteen people are in police custody after they were caught red-handed illegally mining coltan from a farm in Nyamagana cell, Remera district.
Manasseh Rwiririza, the owner of the farm, told Police the mineral was discovered by men who were digging terraces in his garden. The suspects would sneak into the farm at night and mine the coltan.
The suspects include 10 men, two women and three high school students. They are being held at Kibungo Police Station, Ngoma District as investigations continue.
Eastern Region Police Spokesperson, Senior Supt Jean Marie Njangwe said discovering minerals does not give anyone the right to mine them without a license.
“It is a national resource, thus one needs authorisation to mine.”
Meanwhile, Police in Gisagara District on Tuesday destroyed 4,175 litres of an illicit brew commonly known as Nyirantare.
The brew was impounded from four sectors of Ndora, Muganza, Mamba, Kibirizi and Mushaha respectively in a four-day Police Operation to crackdown dealers in illegal substances in the area.
According to Southern Province Spokesperson, Chief Supt. Hubert Gashagaza, the operation was a success because residents provided the crucial information.
Consumption and production of illicit brew is illegal.
Gashagaza said anything that puts people’s lives in jeopardy shouldn’t be regarded as business.
Police says consumption of drugs and illicit alcohol leads to other crimes such as rape, assault and theft.
Gashagaza said Police will not allow this business to thrive. “We will fight it.”