Police have foiled an attempt by two men in Bugesera District to print counterfeit dollar bills amounting to US$100,000, approximately Frw108,500,000.
The two suspects identified as Gregoire Noheli alias Arafati, and Isidore Bikorimana alias Shalom, both aged 48, were arrested on Wednesday, January 11, in a house located in Gitaramuka Village, Gakamba Cell in Mayange Sector, where they were at the time printing counterfeit US100 dollar bills.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, said that Noheli and Bikorimana had locked themselves the house for many hours during the day, which raised suspicion of likely foul-play, prompting residents to call the Police.
“The two suspects were found inside the house while printing fake dollar bills in the denominations of US100. At the time, they were in final stages of cleaning the counterfeit notes totaling to US100,000 dollars,” SP Twizeyimana said.
One of the suspects, Noheli, told the Police that he smuggled the papers into Rwanda from DR Congo about two years ago, and has since been looking for someone to help him turn them into counterfeit money.
“Noheli hooked up with Bikorimana recently, devised the whole criminal plan but thanks to residents through neighborhood watch, whose suspicions helped the Police to foil the act and to arrest them red-handed,” SP Twizeyimana said.
Noheli and Bikorimana along the exhibits, were handed over to RIB at Nyamata station for further legal process.
Normally, such scammers target unwitting members of the public especially at financial institutions and commercial buildings, claiming to be exchanging dollars at an attempting rate.
Others make their prey believe that they are not in position to exchange such big monies. If the person falls for their trick, he or she is made to leave something of high value with them as security and that will be the last time the scammers will be seen.
Article 269 of law No 68/2018 determining offenses and penalties in general, states that any person, who fraudulently counterfeits, falsifies or alters coins or bank notes which are legal tender in Rwanda or abroad, notes issued by the Treasury with its stamp or brand, either banknotes or alike that have legal tender in Rwanda or abroad, or one who introduces or issues in Rwanda such effects or notes with knowledge that they are forged or falsified, commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than seven years.