Police impersonator arrested in Rubavu

On 14 January 2021 at 07:25

A man, who was impersonating the commander for Nyamyumba Police station in Rubavu District and defrauding unwitting members of the public, has been arrested.

Callixte Rwasubutare, 52, was arrested on January 12, in Rubona Cell, Nyambyumba Sector alongside his co-conspirator identified as Innocent Iranzi, 37.

According to the Police spokesperson for the Western region, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the duo was arrested after defrauding a local resident identified as Fabien Habiyaremye, of Rwf 20, 000.

“Rwasubutare and Iranzi somehow got to know that Habiyaremye had a relative detained at Nyamyumba Police station over assault. They contacted Habiyaremye with Rwasubutare introducing himself as the commander for Nyamyumba Police station. They asked for money so as to release his detained relative,” CIP Karekezi explained.

He added: “Habiyaremye first sent them Rwf10, 000; they told him it was not enough. He later sent them another Rwf10, 000 and waited in vain for the release of his relative. This is when he realized that he had been duped by fraudsters; he reported the alleged criminal act to law enforcement.

Rwasubutare and Iranzi were located and arrested, they admitted to the crime. Police also found mobile banking messages in one of the suspects’ phones indicating that they indeed received the money from Habiyaremye.”

CIP Karekezi warned against such criminal behaviors but further cautioned members of the public, who fall victim for attempting to take “criminal shortcuts.”

“Money does not release people taken into custody for a particular crime; the law does. The law punishes the person, who solicits a bribe and one that offers it. Anyone asking for money to render such a service is equally a criminal and should be reported and arrested,” CIP Karekezi said.

Impersonation, under article 279 of the law determining offences and penalties in general, attracts an imprisonment of between two and three years and a fine of between Rwf300, 000 and Rwf500, 000, while fraud is punishable under article 174, with an imprisonment of between two and three years and a fine of Frw3 million to Rwf5 million, upon conviction.

According to article 4 of the Law on Fighting Against Corruption, any person, who offers, solicits, accepts or receives, by any means, an illegal benefit for himself/herself or another person in order to render or omit a service under his or her mandate, commits an offense.

Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of more than five years but not more than seven years, with a fine of three to five times the value of the illegal benefit solicited or received.