Thirteen people, majority commercial motorcyclists, have been arrested in a space of one week for allegedly attempting to bribe police officers to influence an illegal act.
Majority of the suspects were arrested in the Southern Province, with at least seven of them apprehended in Kamonyi District. Others include drivers and a cyclist.
Police spokesperson for the Southern Province, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Andre Hakizimana said most of the motorcyclists had been found operating without essential credentials such as driver’s license, insurance and transport authorization permit normally issued by Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA).
“In such cases, varied penalties are undertaken, according to the law regulating traffic, including impounding the automobile. But as officers were trying to do their work and to enforce the law, the violators of the law went an extra unlawful mile to bribe them to reverse the penalties, and they were immediately arrested,” CIP Hakizimana said.
In the case of the arrested cyclist, Police officers in Kiyumba Sector in Muhanga intercepted a bicycle that had been reportedly stolen in neighbouring Nyabinoni Sector. However, the suspect attempted to influence its release with a bribe of Rwf6, 000,” he added.
It is said that the rightful owner of the sports bike had given it to a friend, who instead sold it to another person without the knowledge of the owner.
The so called friend instead went and reported the bicycle as stolen, which prompted the police to search for it.
CIP Hakizimana warned that there is “no leniency when it comes to anything related to corruption.”
“When you commit an offence, deal with it through appropriate channels, because contrary to that, you will be adding an injury to a wound,” he warned.
Fighting corruption and bribery in particular, classified as one of high impact crimes, is among major priorities of Rwanda National Police (RNP).
Over 250 people have been arrested since last year in connection with attempting to bribe police officers. At least 50 have been arrested since the beginning of this year.