Rwanda Bureau of Investigation launches operation to arrest environmental polluters


Following the investigation and designation of major environmental polluters by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in different districts, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) launched an operation to arrest the suspects.

Rwanda Investigation Bureau spokesman Thierry Murangira said The new times that so far, 19 suspects have been arrested for environmental crimes.

He said that so far those arrested are mining operators.

“Offences include illegal miningnon-compliance with mining standards and rebellion against authority,” he said.

He said suspects arrested in Gasabo, Nyarugenge, Gakenke and Ngororero districts are being held at RIB stations in Kimihurura, Kicukiro, Nduba.

According to the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) report, at least five mining companies, five clay mining operations and four sand mining operations in the districts of Kamonyi, Muhanga, Gakenke and Ngororero have recently polluted the environment from August. August 8 to 14.

The investigation revealed that mining companies were causing soil erosion, pollute rivers, wetlands and failing to rehabilitate mine sites.

The agency also found that some suspended miners were operating illegally without a license.

“Some were operating without complying with the recommendations of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study,” reads the report published last week.

Environmental impact assessment is a tool used to assess the significant effects of a project or development proposal on the environment.

EIAs ensure that project decision-makers consider likely environmental effects as early as possible and aim to avoid, reduce or compensate for those effects.

According to the inspectors, the mining companies surveyed were also found to have no employees dedicated to environmental protection.

Murangira said that if found guilty, the suspects will be punished under Article 54 and Article 55 of Law No. 58/2018 of 13/08/2018 on mining and quarrying.

Anyone who undertakes the exploration, exploitation, processing or trade of minerals or quarries without licensecommits an offence, says the law.

If convicted, he is liable to imprisonment for not less than two months and not more than six months and a fine of not less than Rwf 1 million and Rwf 1 million or one of these penalties.

The court also orders the confiscation of any ore or quarry seized in storage, trade or processing without a licence.

Article 55 stipulates that any person who does not comply with the standards in exploration, exploitation, treatment or trade or exploitation of mining quarries commits an offence.

If such offenses have caused human injury and disease or destruction of the environment, on conviction, he or she is liable to imprisonment for not less than six months and not more than one year and a fine of at least 1 million Rwandan francs and at most 3 million Frw.

If the offense caused human disability or incurable disease, on conviction he or she is liable to imprisonment for not less than one year and not more than three years and a fine not exceeding less than 3 million Frw and not more than 5 million Frw. .

The law explains that if the crimes caused human deathif convicted, he is liable to imprisonment for not less than seven years and not more than 10 years and a fine not less than Rwf 5 million and not more than Rwf 10 million .

The operation continues

Murangira said the operations to arrest environmental polluters are continuing as different environmental crimes have been recorded.

Environmental crime is an illegal act that directly harms the environment.

Crime which is the fourth largest criminal activity in the world is increasing by five to seven percent every year according to reports.

Environmental crime is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises, generating an estimated $110-281 billion in criminal proceeds each year.

It covers a wide range of illegal activities such as illegal logging, illegal wildlife trade, illegal mining, dumping in water bodies, burning of garbage, destruction of wetlands , waste trafficking, among others.

“We will not have a health society if the defaulters do not refrain from destroying the environment. The environment is no one’s property to be destroyed, so it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the environment. environment.

“An unpolluted environment is essential for every human being. This calls for collective responsibility against enemies of the environment. RIB will not tolerate recalcitrants to environmental laws,” he added.


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