The quartet of Desire Ishimwe, Elie Ndacyayisenga, David Nikwigize and Theoneste Manirakiza was on Friday, September 24, paraded to the media at Kigali Metropolitan headquarters in Remera, Gasabo District.
One of the would-be victims, Abouba Niyonsenga, narrated how he was approached by the ring.
“Somehow, they got to know that I needed a driver’s license. So, they found me in Kayonza District three months ago and told me that they are Police officers and had handcuffs. They told me that they can help me acquire the driving permit and that I would pay them when they bring it," Niyonsenga explained.
He added: "One of them, Desire Ishimwe, later called me to meet him in Kigali where he showed me 50 driver’s licenses including mine, which I suspected were forged. He asked me Rwf350, 000 but I refused to pay him because of my suspicions.
I told him that I will pay after authenticating that it is genuine, the idea which he refused. This prompted me to go to the traffic department and shared the information on this fraudulent group."
Elie Ndacyayisenga, one of the arrested , said that he connived with his colleagues to falsify driver’s licences to make money.
"We needed money for rent, so we orchestrated to deal to forge driver’s licenses and to target people that need them," said Ndacyayisenga.
RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said that the suspects were arrested in Police operations following information provided by the public.
“The suspects were impersonating Police officers and forging various documents including driver’s licences which they were selling to the people. They were traced, arrested and here they are for the public to see them and also send a warning message to anyone involved in such criminal practices," CP Kabera said.
CP Kabera urged the public to follow due process to acquire a driver’s license and report anyone approaching them for money in order to help them get the permit.
"The public should be vigilant and avoid shortcuts which put them in position of being deceived and fleeced by such fraudsters. Every service is assigned to a competent institution which they should visit instead of taking such criminal shortcuts."
They were handed over to RIB for further legal process.
Article 276 of the law determining offences and penalties in general states that, 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.
In article 174; any person who, by deception, obtains another person’s property, whole or part of his/her finance by use of false names or qualifications, or who offers positive promises or who threatens of future misfortunes, commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than two (2) years and not more than three (3) years, and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million.
In article 279, of the same law states that any person who without tittle usurps public, civil or military functions or poses the acts of one these functions or falsely attributes to himself/herself the quality of a public official commits an offence.
Upon conviction, the offender faces between two and three years in prison, and a fine of not more than Rwf300,000 but not more than Rwf500, 000.