Seven cattle thieves arrested in Musanze, six cows recovered

On 27 September 2021 at 07:03

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has arrested seven people in connection with the recent series of cattle theft in Musanze District.

The racket was arrested in Police operations conducted in the district on Saturday and Sunday.

Police also recovered six cows from the group, which are among those that were stolen from different people in the district.

All the cows were found in houses of some of the arrested suspects.

The acting District Police Commander for Musanze, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Speciose Kayitesi said that this was a "target operation based on credible information received from some residents in prime suspects."

She identified those arrested as Celestin Maniraguha, 21, Francine Uwizeyimana, 24, Charles Uwabareka, 34, Samuel Mugarukira, 42, Felicien Uwimana, 38, and the duo only identified as Turatsinze and Turikumwenimana.

Two cows were found in Turikumwenimana’s house.

"All the suspects were located and arrested in Sarasi Village, Rwasa Cell, Gacaca Sector where the cows were found in their houses," CIP Kayitesi said.

One of the suspects, Uwizeyimana, who was found with one cow hidden in one of the bedrooms, said that it was brought to her by Celestin Maniraguha.

"Maniraguha had promised to pay me Rwf10,000 every month," said Uwizeyimana.

"Last week, we received complaints from different people, whose cows had been stolen on different days. Fortunately, the victims and some residents gave clues on individuals they suspect to be connected to these series of cattle theft," CIP Kayitesi said.

"Police conducted the operations on Saturday and Sunday, and recovered six cows in houses of some of the identified suspects, and arrested seven suspected thieves. The thieves were hiding cows in bedrooms before slaughtering them to sell meat," she added.

She said that operations are still underway to search for other stolen cows and to arrest other members of the ring.

Two of the recovered cows have so far been returned to the owners.

The seven arrested suspects were handed over to RIB at Muhoza station for further investigation.

Article 166 of the law determining offenses and penalties in general states that any person convicted for theft is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf2 million, community service in a period of six (6) months or only one of these penalties.

In article 167 the penalty for theft doubles if the theft is carried out during the night or by more than one person.