Trio held over smuggling in Musanze

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Three people were on December 25 arrested in Musanze District after they were found smuggling assorted goods.

One of the suspects identified as Jean Marie Vianney Mbonabihama, Police said, he’s also facing charges of attempted bribery after he tried to seduce an officer attached to Revenue Protection Department (RPD) with Rwf100, 000 in order to release his motorcycle that had been impounded after it was intercepted carrying smuggled goods.

Police spokesperson for the Northern region, Inspector of Police (IP) Innocent Gasasira identified other two suspects as Emmanuel Sibomana and Murekatete Masengesho.

“The suspects were smuggling varied goods including second-hand clothes, liquors, and beers, which were also seized and handed over to RPD,” IP Gasasira said.

Article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also used in Rwanda, specifies a penalty of US$5000 to a driver found driving a vehicle with smuggled goods while the vehicle, motorcycle, and the goods are auctioned.

Article 369 of the Penal Code also states that a taxpayer guilty of tax evasion shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of between three to six months and a fine equal to the evaded tax.

If the taxpayer is guilty of deliberate tax evasions, such as false deliberate accounting entries, forgery, and falsification of records or any other act punishable by law, he/she shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of six months to two years and a fine equal to the evaded tax.

“Through awareness and strong partnership with the general public, we receive credible information from the people on smugglers and routes used. We also conduct 24/7 patrols on highways, and snap-checks; all these have led to successful operations,” IP Gasasira said.

RPD, a Rwanda National Police (RNP) arm attached to Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) is at the helm of fighting fraud and smuggling.

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