Police in Ngororero District is holding two men for allegedly diverting electric cables from their home cash powers to steal electricity.
The two suspects currently held at Kabaya police station are identified as Eric Munezero and Theogene Nshimiyimana.
“They were arrested following information from Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL),” Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Innocent Gasasira, the police spokesperson for the western Province said.
He observed that theft of electricity is not only punishable by law, but it’s an act that poses extreme danger.
“It is extremely dangerous; matters of electricity should be handled by professionals only. Any attempt on the cashpower can draw a deadly arc.”
An arc is an explosion of electricity, like a literal ball of fire. It is possible anytime someone comes in contact with a line or a power meter.
Normally, those that have been arrested on charges of theft of electricity, always intended to skip the electric bill.
Some use extension cords to steal from others, but more often, people are trying to divert power around a meter or tampering with it so it doesn’t register what’s being consumed.
When one bypasses the energy meter, the input terminal and output terminal of the cashpower is short-circuited, preventing the energy from registration in the cashpower.
Stealing electricity is punishable under article 313 of the Rwandan penal code.
The article mentioned indicates that any person who prevents or misguides the running of automated data processing system or other similar system of another person shall be liable to a term of imprisonment six months to two years and a fine of Rwf1million to Rwf3million
It also adds in part that the offender shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of more than five years to seven years and a fine of Rwf1million to Rwf5million if the automated data processing system or any similar system belongs to a State organ or to any other organ.