Rwanda Police Tighten Border Security

A Rwanda National Police official hands over a recovered vehicle to a Ugandan early this year

Rwanda National Police has strengthened it measures to curb smuggling and other cross border crimes, this site Chimp Corps report.

Officials said this was in line with the police’s commitment to cooperate with other institutions and policing organizations to jointly ensure a safer world.

It is estimated that around 22, unhealthy 000 people cross the Rubavu-Goma border every day as they are involved in cross-border trade.

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However, discount there are reports of those that use porous borders to smuggle in products.

Detailing efforts put in fighting cross border crimes, Rubavu District Police Commander (DPC) Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Callixte Kalisa, pointed out that Rwanda is one of the few countries on the continent that have installed I-24/7 tool to all her border posts.

“We share this database with customs – Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) – and Immigration. Customs have access to ‘Rwanda Single Window’ that helps them to identify if for example an imported vehicle was stolen while Immigration has access to ‘Travel March’ which allows them to identify if individuals entering or leaving the country are wanted in any country, if they are traveling on forged on revoked documents,” he said.

The Rubavu District Police Unit has impounded several vehicles with some bearing foreign number plates which police say either lacked proper documents or were involved in illegal activities.

Police said other impounded cars were involved in accidents or lacked insurance and that many stolen vehicles have since been returned to the rightful owners.

Other measures in place include enhanced cooperation between the Rwandan National Police and the Congolese police force that has resulted into arrest of smugglers and other criminals on different occasions.

Majority of the seized smuggled items include Kitenge clothes, salsa, second hand clothes, liquors, rice, powdered milk and body oil among others.

Statistics from Rubavu District Police unit indicate that from January to June smuggled good that were seized were worth Rwf43.7million.

Authorities further said cooperation between the public and the police in terms of crime reporting has resulted into filing of 780 smuggling-related cases.

At least five wanted people have been identified and arrested in Rwanda since last year and deported back to countries where the warrants of arrest were issued.

According to SSP Kalisa, cooperation between the police and residents also facilitated the arrested 101 people in connection with drug trafficking and abuse.

Goma racket

In narrating how some smugglers were identified, the DPC said that there are people who cross the border from Goma several times in a day.

“Among these people, some smuggle in men’s suits while wearing them. Every time this person is coming in, he is putting on a different suit, he leaves it on the Rwandan side, goes back and come dressed in a different suit,” he said.

Acting on a tip off from residents, police trailed the men right from the time they entered the country to their final drop-off and apprehended them.

SSP Kalisa went on to say that there are also some women that wrap drugs around their bodies inside their clothes thinking they could beat security.

“But we know all these tricks. No one should think they can outsmart security systems…the systems we have in place and the cooperation with residents have contributed tremendously to bring to justice criminal like drug traffickers and smugglers,” said Kaliisa.

With regards to narcotics, in the first six months on this year, Police in Rubavu have seized 615kilograms of cannabis most of which had been sneaked into the country through porous borders from neighboring countries, six kilograms of khat and 45 litres of Kanyanga


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