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Five Arrested In Operation Against Illegal Acquisition Of Vehicle Mechanical Certificate

Five people have been arrested in Kigali for allegedly flipping their vehicles’ spare parts so as to acquire a motor-vehicle mechanical inspection certificate.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Kabanda, the spokesperson for the traffic and road safety department, said the suspects include drivers and mechanics.

Fred Bagonde, Emmanuel Nyirimpuhwe – both drivers – and  Joseph Ndikumana, Damascene Kagabo, Bernard Nsengiyumva and Joseph Ndinkabandi all mechanics, were paraded at the Remera-based Motor-vehicle mechanical Inspection Center (MIC) on September 22.

“The suspects connived, flipped the old spares parts with new ones, which helped them to secure mechanical certificates before going back and replaced the new spare parts with the old ones,” CIP Kabanda said.

CIP Kabanda said the aim was to fit the standards and requirements to acquire mechanical certificate, a dangerous malpractice that can as well contribute to mechanical fault and fatal accidents.

He said all the suspects were caught red-handed changing the spare parts.

Both drivers, while speaking to journalists, admitted to the crime, however, asked to be pardoned and advised other drivers to refrain from such unlawful and reckless practices.

Meanwhile, CIP Kabanda said that police acted on information provided by people adding that operations will continue to locate and arrest anyone involved in such tendencies.

“Anyone who does such a thing must know that it’s not just criminal that comes with high penalties but also an act of fatality,” CIP Kabanda said.

He also noted that some trucks involved in accidents were found to have mechanical problems caused by such malpractices.

Fraudulent acquisition of any documents issued by a competent authority, under article 612 of the penal code, attracts a jail sentence of up seven years and a fine of up Rwf3 million.

CIP Kabanda added that all vehicles in question have been impounded for the entire period of their trial, until the court decides otherwise.

Mechanical inspection center

He further noted that Police is following leads on people who loiter around the MIC to hoodwink drivers, whose vehicles fail the inspection standard to either defraud them or lure them into such malpractices.

The suspects in most cases hire a properly functional steering load, which is key equipment in easing the vehicle to turn.

“In this case the drivers, knowingly, borrowed or hired drag links so that they can pass through the inspections and later reinstall the substandard one,” he said.

Drag link, commonly found in trucks and vans, is a suspension linkage component that connects the gear box to the steering wheel.

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