Rwanda National Police has impounded a vehicle in Muhanga District, which was transporting assorted smuggled goods, including 147 bales of clothes and five bales of shoes.
The truck was intercepted on September 3, at about 5am, in Musongati Cell of Nyarusange Sector. Superintendent of Police Theobald Kanamugire, the police spokesperson for the Southern region, said the driver, 44, was also arrested. Two other people, who were on board, fled during the operation.
The seizure netted 140 bales of second-hand clothes, five bales of used shoes; seven bales of traditional fabrics commonly known as kitenge, 220 rolls of substandard electric cables, 176 pieces of salsa and 25 tins of powdered milk.
The goods were smuggled into Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), through Lake Kivu.
“There was credible information that quantities of goods were smuggled into Rwanda from DRC, through Lake Kivu in Nyamasheke District, and an operation was commenced to trace the whereabouts of the goods until the vehicle transporting the goods was intercepted in Muhanga District enroute to Kigali,” Mr Kanamugire said.
Meanwhile, the driver claimed that the goods belong to one Jean Claude Hakizimana, with whom they had agreed a pay-off of Rwf200,000 upon delivering the goods to the final destination in Kimisagara, Nyarugenge District.
In May, the same driver was arrested in Nyamasheke transporting smuggled goods to Kigali. The goods were handed over to Rwanda Revenue Authority.
Last week, police in Muhanga impounded a bus transporting 1,074 kilos of smuggled second-hand clothes. Article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is applicable in Rwanda, provides that seized smuggled goods be auctioned.
A vehicle intercepted transporting smuggled goods is also auctioned and the driver slapped with a fine of $5,000. A taxpayer, who commits fraud, is subjected to an administrative fine of 100 percent of evaded tax and a likely jail of between six months and two years.