Illicit trade stays being a serious issue for several years in Rwanda, but Tax Enforcement Unit stands firmly

The illegal trade is a big problem to the community or country due to escaping tax and make country not developing. Some people engage in doing such acts and face loss whenever are caught. It is still problem in Rwanda, where several years ago, many illicit traders arrested.  

Illicit trade means any practice or conduct prohibited by law which relates to production, shipment, receipt, possession, distribution, sale, or purchase of tobacco products including any practice or conduct intended to facilitate such activity

The Rwanda Police, the Tax Enforcement Unit (RPU) arrested in Muhanga District, on Wednesday the 11th March 2023.

He was arrested in Rwambariro village, Rusovu cell in Nyarusange sector, carrying in a truck 12 bales of cotton cloth that was taken from the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC).

The Spokesman of the Provincial Police, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Habiyaremye, said that at 2:00 p.m., these people were working on 4,000 cases of smuggling.

After he was arrested, he said that he was angry that he had been given by a businessman in Rusizi District to deliver to his client in Kigali City after paying him Frw200,000 out of the 300 thousand that they had agreed upon, and he would have given the rest to that client in Kigali.

CIP Habiyaremye asked traders to carry and sell legitimate products and avoid investing in smuggling because it causes them losses and imprisonment.

Not only that stories of smugglings, but also on 6th August 2022, In Nyanza District, 1,574 kilos of clothes that had been smuggled into Rwanda were seized. The Rwanda Police Department in charge of anti-trafficking seized the clothes that had been taken from Burundi.

On 27 October 2021, in Rubavu District, Gisenyi Sector, a man called Kayigire was arrested with 8 types of liquor, arrested on October 27.

In the car, police found Hennessy, Gordon, Absolute vodka, Sandman, Champagne, Contreau and Jack Daniels. All this alcohol had to pay a tax equal to 797,335 thousand Rwandan francs.

Article 199 of the Law of the Community of East African Countries is also used in Rwanda, which states that contraband goods seized are subject to auction.

Article 87 of Law No. 026/2019 dated 18/09/2019 determines the tax system, which provides that; any person who intends to evade tax by concealing taxable goods or assets related to business; he is guilty of tax evasion.

If convicted by the court, he is sentenced to imprisonment of not less than two (2) years but not more than five (5) years.

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