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Kigali: Police Bursts Ring Of Thieves

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Rwanda National Police (RNP) has arrested eight people said to have been masquerading as security personnel, intimidating, and fleecing unwitting members of the public.

The group was showed to the media on Saturday, May 22, at the Police Metropolitan headquarters in Remera, Gasabo District.

The racket includes the ringleaders; Joseph Nsengiyumva, 40, Laurien Niyoyita, 33, Jean Paul Rukinda, 35 and Alexis Fayizari.

Fayizari was taken into custody on Saturday morning in Muhanga District where he was at the time trying to defraud a local businessman of two tonnes of rice.

The ring was using a Toyota Corolla vehicle registration number RAA 780B, which was also impounded.

One of the suspects, Joseph Nsengiyumva, who was also the driver, was found with a service card indicating that he is a captain in Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).

The forged RDF service card bears a passport photo of Nsengiyumva don in military attire with a rank of captain.

Investigations indicate that in the car, Nsengiyumva was in most cases traveling with Niyoyita and Rukinda, who had handcuffs and a toy pistol, which they were using to threaten and rob their target.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said that the racket is behind series of fraud, theft through threats and intimidation, and impersonation.

He added that the ring and its criminal activities came to light about two months ago, when investigations and operations targeting its members were commenced.

How they were defrauding traders

“Information about this group and its criminal activities was provided by some of the victims. This ring had formed two groups with each group performing specific roles,” said CP Kabera.

After purchasing goods in big quantity, especially rice and maize flour, one group would sell them to targeted traders at a low price without giving them receipts.

The other group of Nsengiyumva, Niyoyita and Rukinda would then show up later and ask the same traders to provide receipts for the goods that they have purchased.

“Nsengiyumva was using the forged military ID during their criminal operations, which he would show to traders before handcuffing him or her and putting them in their vehicle where they would intimidate them with the toy pistol,” CP Kabera explained.

At this point, the trader would either give them money out of fear of being harmed or imprisoned, or the group would load and take the same goods.

Fayizari, who was last to be arrested on Saturday morning, had called a trader in Muhanga to send him two tonnes of rice promising that he would send him the money.

“The trader, out of suspicion, declined to send the rice but instead called the Police, which took Fayizari into custody,” said the spokesperson.

Nsengiyumva, while speaking to journalists, claimed that he is called ‘Kalisa Joseph’ despite his national ID indicating that he is in fact ‘Nsengiyumva Joseph.’ It is said that Nsengiyumva joined military in 1992 but was discharged in 2012 at the rank of Sergeant.

One of the victims, Emmanuel Bishingwabagabo of Kinyinya Sector in Gasabo District, said that Nsengiyumva found him in his shop recently, showed him the military service card before Bishingwabagabo was rolled into the vehicle.

“He (Nsengiyumva) entered my shop, pulled out a military ID and told me ‘I am showing you this card for you to know who you are talking with. Together with other members of his group, their handcuffed me, took me in their car, intimidated and threatened me. I was released after giving them Frw1,025,000,” Bishingwabagabo narrated.

Another victim, Emmanuel Harerimana from Kicukiro, said that the same group supplied him with 98 bags of maize flour but another group of Nsengiyumva showed up shortly after saying that this was fraud.

“They handcuffed and took me in their car, but I was released after giving them Rwf900, 000,” said Harerimana.

CP Kabera said that the racket was operating City of Kigali and in other parts of the country but added that law enforcement organs are still working together to identify and arrest anyone connected to this criminal ring.

He advised the business community against dealing with suspicious individuals and groups or engaging in unlawful business transactions, which are some of the tricks used by criminals to target and defraud people.

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Crime

Hackers Approve 18 Buildings in Nairobi

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Un identified hackers have conducted a daring move and approved at least 18 illegal building in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

The illegal approvals were made after hackers found their way into Nairobi County’s online development plan system according to Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

“The hacking paved the way for illegal building approvals to be made and there were 18 illegal approvals done when the system was hacked into, forcing us to suspend it,” said NMS Director-General Mohamed Badi.

He said that hackers were City Hall staff who collude with outsiders to do the illegal approvals.

“The hackers are not strangers or outsiders but retired county staff who had access to the system and are now working with outsiders to do illegal approvals. It’s unfortunate that desperate city residents landed in the hands of these conniving dealers and got illegal approvals,” he added.

Mr Badi made it clear that NMS will not allow the construction of buildings which have not been approved by the Nairobi City County Urban Planning Technical Committee.

“City residents have suffered in the hands of conmen but unfortunately as NMS we will not allow a single building to go up without the proper approval by the technical committee on urban planning. We shall go for it and bring it down,” he said.

However, the NMS boss said they have now sealed the loopholes after bringing in experts from the Ministry of ICT as well as security agencies.

“We handed over the e-construction system to the experts to look into the situation. It took us almost two weeks to close those loopholes,” said Mr Badi.

Last week, NMS suspended approval of development plans in Nairobi after the Quick Response (QR) code system, which is part of the e-construction development plans application system used for the application of building plans and construction permits, was hacked into.

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Crime

Rwanda Prosecution Seeks Life Sentence For Paul Rusesabagina

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Embatled terrorist Paul Rusesabagina may get booked a life sentence if court agrees to a request by prosecution.

Rusesabagina is battling nine charges, including terrorism, financing terrorism, recruiting child soldiers, kidnapping, arson, and forming terrorist groups.

According to current details, Rusesabagina has been found guilty of all the charges which would collectively fetch him 170 years in prison.

However, under the Rwandan law, court would opt for the highest punishment in Rusesabagina’s situation and that would be a life sentence.

Rusesabagina Crimes

In reference to Rwanda’s prosecution, Rusesabagina is accused of creating and being part of an irregular armed group, financing terrorism, terror activities for political gains, conspiracy to commit terror activities, commanding terror acts and being part of a terrorist group.

He has also been battling the charge of conspiracy and encouraging others to join a terror group, conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to kidnap, conspiracy to armed robbery, conspiracy to commit arson, conspiracy to aggravated assault and conspiracy to conscript children in an armed group.

All these criminal charges can only fetch Rusesabagina a life sentence as the highest punishment for the gravity of his crimes.

For decades, Rusesabagina had eluded the long arm of the Law as he enjoyed protection in Europe and the United States where his adulterated story of 1994 inspired a Holly Wood movie Hotel Rwanda.

Rusesabagina who for long enjoyed a sexed up hero status due to Hotel Rwanda Movie, founded of the ‘National Liberation Forces (FLN)’, an armed terrorist organisation under his Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD).

Last year in August, Rusesabagina was arrested and eventually produced before both local and international media.

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) said Rusesabagina a high profile catch was arrested “through international cooperation”.

However, Rusesabagina’s manner and process of his arrest has triggered a lot of debate across the world but Rwanda doesn’t find any problem with it.

President Paul Kagame who recently spoke to Radio France Internationale was tasked to explain the mysterious arrest of Rusesabagina.

“What’s wrong with tricking a criminal you’re looking for? When you get him, where do you put him? If he’s in a court of law, that’s OK,” Kagame said, adding that he had not been hidden somewhere.

The US, European Union and UN have consistently claimed that Rusesabagina would not get a fair trial in Rwanda but President Kagame has a responce.

“I want to see a fair trial myself. Why do you think being fair belongs to Europe or US or to anybody, not to us?” asked Kagame.

“It’s like the only thing to be fair in Rwanda or in Africa has to be supervised by the US or some other place. No. Absolutely not,” he added.

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Crime

Russia Wants to Extradite Cyber Criminals to U.S

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his nation is prepared to extradite cyber criminals to the United States on a reciprocal basis, according to Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.

According to TASS, Putin told state TV channel Rossiya-1 that both Russia and the US must “assume equal commitments,” adding that “Russia will naturally do that but only if the other side, in this case the United States, agrees to the same and will also extradite corresponding criminals to the Russian Federation.”

Putin’s remarks come ahead of a June 16 summit with US President Joe Biden in Geneva. Biden said Sunday at a G7 press conference he was encouraged by Putin’s earlier comments and acknowledged negotiation is possible, but is wary of the Russian President ever changing his behavior.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the “issue of ransomware attacks” would be discussed during the meeting between the two leaders in Geneva.

“We have raised the issue of ransomware attacks with any number of countries and that includes Russia. I suspect, as you have heard from the White House, that this activity will be a topic when the two presidents meet next week in Geneva,” Price said.

During his interview with Rossiya-1, the Russian President said he hoped his meeting with Biden would serve to restore relations between Russia and the United States and establish a “functioning mechanism” for direct dialogue on “areas of mutual interest,” including regional conflicts, economic cooperation and environmental protection, TASS reported.

Putin says Russia prepared to extradite cyber criminals to U.S on reciprocal basis
By CNN For Citizen Digital
time updated Published on: June 14, 2021 09:40 (EAT)

Putin says Russia prepared to extradite cyber criminals to U.S on reciprocal basis
U.S President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. PHOTO / CN

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his nation is prepared to extradite cyber criminals to the United States on a reciprocal basis, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported Sunday.

According to TASS, Putin told state TV channel Rossiya-1 that both Russia and the US must “assume equal commitments,” adding that “Russia will naturally do that but only if the other side, in this case the United States, agrees to the same and will also extradite corresponding criminals to the Russian Federation.”

Putin’s remarks come ahead of a June 16 summit with US President Joe Biden in Geneva. Biden said Sunday at a G7 press conference he was encouraged by Putin’s earlier comments and acknowledged negotiation is possible, but is wary of the Russian President ever changing his behavior.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the “issue of ransomware attacks” would be discussed during the meeting between the two leaders in Geneva.

“We have raised the issue of ransomware attacks with any number of countries and that includes Russia. I suspect, as you have heard from the White House, that this activity will be a topic when the two presidents meet next week in Geneva,” Price said.

During his interview with Rossiya-1, the Russian President said he hoped his meeting with Biden would serve to restore relations between Russia and the United States and establish a “functioning mechanism” for direct dialogue on “areas of mutual interest,” including regional conflicts, economic cooperation and environmental protection, TASS reported.

“In general, there is something to talk about and there are common issues to discuss,” the Russian President added.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told “CBS This Morning” that Biden would be raising several issues of concern during his meeting with Putin.

“The President’s focus is on delivering messages that are important to the American people and using this meeting as an opportunity to move our interests forward,” Psaki said.

“The President’s going to raise areas where he has concern — whether it’s the ransomware attacks or the aggression on the border of Ukraine, or human rights abuses. But, there are also areas we think we can work together,” she added.

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