Three people belonging to the same coordinated ring, have been arrested in City of Kigali in connection with scamming aspiring drivers promising to give them driver’s license.
The fraudsters were guising as Police officers attached to the Traffic and Road Safety department.
The suspects, who were paraded to the media on Friday, July 31, are; Emmanuel Nkurunziza, 37, Jean Claude Mberabagabo, 38, and Jean Bosco Munyangabe, 37.
Mberabagabo was introducing himself to his targets as a ‘Chief Inspector of Police (CIP)’ heading the IT directorate at the Traffic and Road Safety department; Nkurunziza as ‘Assistant Inspector of Police (AIP)’ charged with entering names of successful candidates into the system; while Munyangabe is a driving instructor at Midland Driving School in Remera, Gasabo District.
They were arrested separately on July 29, in a targeted operation following information provided by one Anastase Sewabeza, whom Munyangabe was trying to recruit as their agent to search for more people to defraud.
Sewabeza, who works with RwandAir, narrated that on July 26, he received a call from Munyangabe, who wanted him to get people seeking a driver’s license.
“Munyangabe told me that he knows an Afande in traffic, who is helping people to get a permit without going through the due process.
Knowing that these are criminal networks that have continued to wreck people, I responded positively so as to help our law enforcement organs bust the whole group,” Sewabeza said.
He added that, “I later told Munyangabe that I have a colleague (who wants a driver’s license) and willing to pay immediately. Munyangabe took me to Mberabagabo, whom he identified as Afande.”
“We found Mberabagabo at the Traffic and Road Safety offices in Muhima. Mberabagabo came out of a room, which he said it’s his office and told me that he is a Chief Inspector of Police. I came to know that the room where Mberabagabo was is an office where people come to seek traffic related services.”
Sewabeza went on to narrate that Mberabagabo continued to make false calls as if he is giving orders to his juniors and later took him to a waiting Omnibus outside, drove to Nyamirambo where they found the self-proclaimed ‘AIP Nkurunziza,’ who would enter the particulars of their target into the traffic system.
Mberabagabo knew Sewabeze by nickname. Sewabeze sent his particulars to the fraudsters, which made it easy to go unnoticed.
Sewabeza has five driving categories.
“They told me that I bring Rwf350,000 to get the permit for my colleague. We met again on July 29, I told them that I had the money. This time I had already informed Police officers and they arrested them red-handed receiving the money.”
Sewabeza has fake messages from traffic and Irembo, sent to him by the suspects indicating every stage of the alleged permit.
The ring also includes an IT expert still at large, who forges and sends Police and Irembo messages to their targets to make them believe that they are making headways in processing their permit.
It is such criminal stages that keeps the victims’ hopes high making them easier to convince to pay more money.
RNP spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera warned that all efforts have been made to bring to book anyone still engaged in these criminal activities.
“We have arrested and paraded such people over the past, the criminal methods they use are almost similar,” CP Kabera said.
“It’s so unfortunate that people still believe and take these unlawful shortcuts and end up being conned. A driver’s license is Rwf50, 000 not Rwf350,000; the process of acquiring a license was made easier, and it’s not done with people on streets or in cars.”
CP Kabera said that such criminal behaviours of people who call themselves Police officers and in some cases use real names, ranks and appointments of Police officers, tarnish the image of Rwanda National Police.
“Such people tarnish the image of the Police because some victims think that they have been defrauded by a Police officer.
When someone tells you that he or she is a Police officer and asks for money for any service, we urge you to report through all known RNP communication channels to facilitate the fight against such criminal practices,” CP Kabera said.
Clause One of article 174 of the law determining offences and penalties in general, defines fraud as deception, obtaining another person’s property, whole or part of his/her finance by use of false names or qualifications, or offering positive promises or threats of future misfortunes.
Clause two of the same article provides a term of imprisonment of between two and three years, and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million but not more than Rwf5 million, upon conviction.
In article 276, anyone convicted for impersonation faces an imprisonment term of not less than five years but not more than seven years and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties