Police hands over 32 recovered tower batteries to IHS Rwanda

On 1 April 2021 at 02:57

Rwanda National Police (RNP), on March 30, handed over 32 batteries to IHS Rwanda Limited, which are some of those that were stolen from the latter’s towers in Kigali.

The telecommunication tower batteries were recovered from seven people, all members of the same racket arrested in Gasabo District in separate operations conducted in the past one week.

According to Nathan Kabanguka, a security officer at IHS Rwanda, a telecommunication infrastructure provider, said that more than 60 batteries have been stolen from towers in Kigali City.

"The vandalism and theft started back in 2017 targeting batteries, lubricants and electric cables. Since then, more than 600 batteries have been stolen. The 32 batteries recovered by the Police and handed over to us are part of l the 60 stolen from the towers in Kigali," Kabanguka said.

"We thank Rwanda National Police for these successful operations; we hope more batteries will be recovered in the due course and more vandalizers and thieves will be brought to justice," he added.

Kabanguka said the vandalism and theft affect the telecom infrastructures, which also impacts on the network performance especially to users thus disrupting communication as well as incurred loses in refurbishing the destroyed towers.

The suspects arrested with the batteries include those who were stealing them from towers and the buyers.

According to one of the suspects, they targeted IHS towers because "there are no security guards protecting their towers."

Kabanguka noted that the company has stepped up measures to secure their towers.

RNP spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said operations are still underway to identify and arrest all those behind the vandalism and theft of varied items from towers and recovery of those stolen, especially batteries.

According to article 182 of the law relating to offences and penalties in general in Rwanda, “any person, who maliciously demolishes or damages in any way, in whole or in part of construction, building, bridge, dams, water pipes and their routes, railway rails or any other means of communication or electric power infrastructure, wells or any other constructions, which do not belong to him/her, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years and not more than five years with a fine of not less than Frw3 million and not more than Frw5 million.