The recently rolled out hi-tech traffic Information Management System has led to the arrest of two men, who were holding forged driver’s license after apparently altering particulars of someone else’ original permit.
The duo hailing from Nyanza District was arrested separately on February 12 as police verified their driving licenses with the use of Hand-Held Terminal (HHT) that scans the barcode printed at the back of the license.
It is alleged that Jean Pierre Dusangumukiza and Jean Claude Rutayisire scanned and edited the genuine permit belonging to another holder replacing names with their credentials to make it look real if not verified with the hi-tech device.
In narrating how the two suspects forged the licenses, Chief Inspector of Police Emmanuel Kabanda, the spokesperson for the RNP department of Traffic and Road Safety said; “They got an original driver’s license registered on one Jean Eric Shema, scanned it, altered the names and the license number but failed to alter barcode at the back of the license.”
“When traffic officers scanned the barcode using HHT, the data they extracted was not corresponding with what appeared on the license. We have since discovered that the suspects were forging licenses and use a barcode they copied from Shema’s original license,” he added.
Shema’s license that was used in the forgery had previously been reportedly stolen, according to CIP Kabanda.
The Hand-Held Terminal (HHT scans the driver’s license precisely the barcode at the back and automatically synchronize the driver’s details with that recoded in the National Identification Agency (NIDA) database to profile the driver and give the traffic officer authentic information.
“Whenever there is a mismatch, we know that the license is a forgery and that’s how we arrested these two suspects…If you are out there holding a fake driver’s license, voluntarily surrender it to the nearest police station or rest assured the law will catch up with you,” he warned.
“Forging a legal document itself is criminal and punishable by the law; but there are a lot of other consequences that such forged documents bring along. In general, holders of forged driver’s license lack traffic related knowledge and they are likely to cause accidents and loss of lives,” he added.
Article 609 of the Penal Code indicates that any person who forges or alters documents by forged signature or fingerprint, falsifying documents or signatures or impersonation, forging agreements, its provisions, obligations, discharged obligations shall be liable to a term of imprisonment ranging from five to seven years and a fine of Rwf300,000 to Rwf3 million.