According to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Gerald Mpayimana, the Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety department, more than 400 motorcycles have been impounded over the past one month, the majority in City of Kigali.
"We have witnessed a rise in cases of taxi-moto operators, who modify or conceal their number plates so as to avoid being detected either by Police officers, speed enforcement cameras or by the public when in any traffic violations or unlawful acts.
Since the beginning of April, we have impounded over 400 motorcycles in City of Kigali with stealth or altered number plates," ACP Mpayimana said.
Some of the motorcyclists use wires to flip up number plates to prevent being picked by speed enforcement cameras.
Others alter or modified them, with others scrubbing them to make them invisible.
"Some of the motorcyclists had accumulated traffic fines due to over speeding or having no insurance and hiding plate numbers was a way to avoid being detected. Others use such motorcycles in illegal acts like drug trafficking, smuggling, transporting stolen items and snatching people’s valuables," ACP Mpayimana said.
When they hide plate numbers, he observed, motorcyclists feel that they can wander in their illegal practices without anyone identifying them.
"These are continuous operations against motorists, who hide plate numbers. If your plate numbers are invisible, you are advised to go to Rwanda Revenue Authority to get new ones."
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 years but not more than seven years and a fine of not less than Frw3 million and not more than Frw5 million or only one of these penalties.