One arrested in crackdown on forged traffic documents

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 11 April 2017 saa 11:03
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Ongoing operations and crackdown on people holding or forging road traffic-related documents has led to the arrest of a motorcyclist, who was found with a forged driver’s license.

Jean Rusimbukayejo, 50, a medical assistant was arrested Sunday in Gitarama Cell, Nyamabuye Sector of Muhanga District.

The spokesperson for Traffic and Road Safety department, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Kabanda, said that “the arrest of Rusimbukayejo and many others so far facing varied jail terms, should signal what awaits anyone that still distributes or uses such forged documents.”

“We have since identified the person who sold this forged license to Rusimbukayejo at Rwf300, 000, and efforts are still underway to trace his whereabouts to face justice,” said CIP Kabanda.

“Some people want easy means of getting driver’s license, which is why they are duped by such unscrupulous individuals who claim to work with Traffic Police,” he said, warning that “both the person holding a forged document and who forged it, are treated as suspected criminals.”

Under article 609 of the Penal Code, any person who forges or alters documents is liable to a term of imprisonment ranging from five to seven years and a fine of Rwf300,000 to Rwf3 million.

The same penalty applies to anyone, who knowingly uses a counterfeit document.

“For some time now, we have been carrying out investigations through which we managed to break separate groups involved in forging and selling driver’s permit, with some calling themselves police agents,” he said.

Between November and December last year, police busted five separate groups involving 16 suspects, who were arrested red-handed with equipment they were using, and with a number of forged permits in different names.

Between 2014 and 2015, more than one hundred drivers and motorcyclists were also arrested with forged driver’s license.

“Based on investigations and information we get from people we arrest forging these documents, we have compiled a list of drivers and riders suspected to be operating on these counterfeit documents. Some of these people have voluntarily surrendered them, which is the only advisable option, but those who have not will be arrested,” Kabanda warned.

He clarified that the traffic and road safety department has no brokers adding that people who as brokers are fraudsters that should be reported to police so that they are arrested.

“Besides, acquiring a driver’s license is an individual process; it is done by the applicant himself or herself, right from registration to the time of collecting your permit.”

Meanwhile, CIP Kabanda also said that the introduction of the hi-tech Hand-Held Terminal (HHT) will also ease the process of identifying forged driver’s license.

The device scans the driver’s license precisely the barcode at the back and automatically synchronise 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.

A mismatch, according to Kabanda, indicates that the license is a forgery.