Police seize 72kgs of minerals from illegal dealer in Rutsiro

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An illegal mineral dealer identified as Alex Manibirimo was arrested on Monday, January 25, in Rutsiro District with about 72 kilogrammes of Coltan and Wolfram.
Manibirimo, 22, was arrested in Manihira Sector, Haniro Cell in Gisunzu Village with a sack of the mixed minerals.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said that the suspect was at the time transporting the minerals on a motorcycle RD 149P, which was also impounded.

“There were reports that Manibirimo conducts illegal mineral business. He was allegedly buying minerals from concessions and selling them to other illegal traders,” CIP Karekezi said.

He added: ” On Monday, Police in Manihira received information that he had secured a new consignment. With the help of residents, Manibirimo was located and intercepted at about 1pm transporting 72kgs of mixed coltan and wolfram.”

Manibirimo could neither disclose where he got the minerals nor the final destination. He was handed over to Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) at Rusebeya station for further legal process.

The spokesperson warned against such unlawful act of trade. He reminded that mineral business is controlled and conducted by licensed people and in accordance with the law.

Article 54 of the law on mining and quarry operations, states that; “any person, who undertakes mineral or quarry exploration, exploitation, processing or trading without a licence commits an offence.”

Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of between two and six months and a fine of not less than Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties.

The court also may order confiscation of any seized minerals in storage, trading or processing without a license.


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