Marius Ntamagara, a Burundian national suspected of attempting to dupe the Rwanda Central Bank (BNR) out of a billion Euro using forged papers, has been sentenced to six years and seven months in absentia as well as court fines of Rwf2.8 million.
Nyarugenge Intermediate Court found Ntamagara guilty of forging and using official documents.
The prosecution accuses Ntamagara of forging two documents known as Swift transfer documents.
One of the documents indicated that he had received 1Euro million on his account, while another one showed 28Euro million.
During the trial early this week, the prosecution said that the documents are different from the ones that the Central Bank usually receives because they were in swift.net instead of being swift.com, format.
The prosecution also argued that by using EXIM4.491, they were able to know that the documents were forged by one person since the spelling errors therein matched 100%.
The prosecutor argued that the accused had premeditated his crime because before that, he used to frequent the Central Bank’s headquarters in a bid to fraudulently open an account.
After he was informed that his request wasn’t possible, he did his best and resorted to joining CAF (Caisse des Affaires Financières), Isonga.
BNR which also sued for fines in the trial, had requested that Ntamagara pays Rwf2 million for tarnishing its reputation because the central bank had to ask the swift senders (banks written on them) whether they had really transferred the money onto Ntamagara’s bank account which was not befitting.
In addition, the convicted Ntamagara alsp to told CAF-Isonga members that the Central Bank denied him money.
Meanwhile, the accused has 30 days to appeal the court’s ruling.
On Friday, Ntamagara and his lawyer Odette Murara, the prosecution as well as BNR’s lawyer didn’t appear in the trial.
Article 609 of the Penal Code indicates that any person who forges or alters documents by forging signatures or fingerprints, falsifying documents or signatures or impersonation, forging agreements, its provisions, obligations or discharged obligations shall be liable to a term of imprisonment ranging from five to seven years and a fine of Rwf300,000 to Rwf3 million.
Any person who knowingly uses a counterfeit document shall be liable to the same penalty as the person counterfeiting a document, according to the Penal code.