Grace Uwizeye, 24, Jonathan Niyomungeri, 24, Ibrahim Mutabazi, 24, and Patrick Niyitegeka, 25, were arrested on Saturday, September 18, less than a week after six other people were also arrested at the border as they attempted to cross to DRC with forged Covid-19 certificates.
They were showed to the media on Sunday, September 19, at the Western Region Police headquarters in Rubavu District.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said that the quartet were also attempting to cross the border to DRC.
"Negative Covid-19 certificate is one of the requirements for one to cross the border to the either country. On Saturday, the four suspects who were trying to cross to DRC, presented forged Covid-19 negative certificates but the Police border security was able to notice the forgery and took all the four into custody," CIP Karekezi said.
Grace Uwizeye and Jonathan Niyomwungeri admitted that they have been counterfeiting Covid-19 certificates.
“I went to the health center where I got a genuine negative Covid-19 certificate, which we have since been editing and updating to facilitate us to cross the border," Uwizeye said.
Another suspect, Ibrahim Mutabazi said that he got the forged certificate from Patrick Niyitegeka. Mutabazi paid Niyitegeka Rwf5,000 for the forged certificate.
CIP Karekezi warned against such inappropriate and criminal behaviors urging the public to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines.
“Forging a Covid-19 certificate is a crime but it can also lead to the spread of the pandemic” CIP Karekezi said.
He called on the public to avoid such criminal shortcuts and to report those involved.
All the suspects were handed over to RIB at Gisenyi station for further legal process.
In article 276, any person who, in any manner, forges or alters documents by forged signature or fingerprint, falsifying documents or signatures or impersonation, forging agreements, its provisions, obligations, or discharged obligations commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five (5) years but not more than seven (7) years and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties.