Police in Nyarugenge District, Thursday apprehended a woman at a commercial bank in the Central Business District after she allegedly forged a signature of a targeted victim and withdrew Rwf950, 000.
The suspect, whose particulars are yet to be confirmed, allegedly forged the signature of one Josephine Hakizimana, a businesswoman in Muhanga District and withdrew the money.
Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali, Supt. Emmanuel Hitayezu, said that the suspect, who is a Rwandan, was not found with any identification at the time of her arrest.
“Initial investigations indicate that the suspect guised as a buyer in Hakizimana’s shop in Muhanga, where she managed to get all banking particulars including a bank account and holder’s signature,” said Supt. Hitayezu.
“In the morning hours of August 18, the suspect went to the bank (name withheld) operating in the city centre where she was however denied the service after a teller noticed a mismatch in the signature and photo.”
“Later in the day, she went to another branch in Gikondo where she was successful and withdrew Rwf200, 000; convinced with this successful fraud act, she went back to the first branch in the city centre at about 7:30pm, where this time she was also successful to withdraw other Rwf750, 000, but as she was leaving the building she was noticed by the teller, who had denied her a service earlier in the morning and she immediately informed the bank security, who arrested her before police arriving to take up the case,” said Supt. Hitayezu.
Meanwhile, police managed to recover Rwf900, 000, which she was found with, at the time of her arrest.
The spokesperson said that they are pursuing two charges against the suspect; counterfeit and theft.
Counterfeit, under article 606 of the penal code, attracts a jail sentence of between two and five years while theft, which is criminalized under article 300, attracts a sentence of up to two years and a fine of two to five times the value of the stolen property or one of these penalties.
“Police is also investigating any likely involvement of the bank staff; every bank account holder has signature and a photo which helps the bank to offer a certain required service,” he said.
Supt. Hitayezu said that Rwanda National Police (RNP) has initiatives in place to fight financial related crimes including a separate directorate with skilled officers, and Financial Investigations Unit (FIU)attached to the National Bank of Rwanda to fight money laundering.