Police breaks racket of thieves

On 23 May 2021 at 08:04

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has arrested eight people said to have been masquerading as security personnel, intimidating, and fleecing unwitting members of the public.

The group was showed to the media on Saturday, May 22, at the Police Metropolitan headquarters in Remera, Gasabo District.

The racket includes the ringleaders; Joseph Nsengiyumva, 40, Laurien Niyoyita, 33, Jean Paul Rukinda, 35 and Alexis Fayizari.

Fayizari was taken into custody on Saturday morning in Muhanga District where he was at the time trying to defraud a local businessman of two tons of rice.

The ring was using a Toyota Corolla vehicle registration number RAA 780B, which was also impounded.

One of the suspects, Joseph Nsengiyumva, who was also the driver, was found with a service card indicating that he is a captain in Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).

The forged RDF service card bears a passport photo of Nsengiyumva don in military attire with a rank of captain.

Investigations indicate that in the car, Nsengiyumva was in most cases traveling with Niyoyita and Rukinda, who had handcuffs and a toy pistol, which they were using to threaten and rob their target.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said that the racket is behind series of fraud, theft through threats and intimidation, and impersonation.

He added that the ring and its criminal activities came to light about two months ago, when investigations and operations targeting its members were commenced.

How they were defrauding traders

“Information about this group and its criminal activities was provided by some of the victims. This ring had formed two groups with each group performing specific roles,” said CP Kabera.

After purchasing goods in big quantity, especially rice and maize flour, one group would sell them to targeted traders at a low price without giving them receipts.

The other group of Nsengiyumva, Niyoyita and Rukinda would then show up later and ask the same traders to provide receipts for the goods that they have purchased.

“Nsengiyumva was using the forged military ID during their criminal operations, which he would show to traders before handcuffing him or her and putting them in their vehicle where they would intimidate them with the toy pistol,” CP Kabera explained.

At this point, the trader would either give them money out of fear of being harmed or imprisoned, or the group would load and take the same goods.