Suspected Police impersonator arrested in fraud

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 31 July 2020 at 09:30

A man, who was masquerading as a Police officer and defrauding people, was arrested on Wednesday, July 29, in Rubona Sector of Rwamagana District.

Jean Pierre Nzabahimana, 33, was arrested after local residents and victims reported the matter to law enforcement organs.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, said that Nzabahimana had already conned three people of combined Rwf35, 000.

"Local residents called the Police at Rubona station reporting a man, who calls himself a Police officer and threatening to arrest them if they don’t give him money, especially those he noticed that they were violating government directives on the fight against the pandemic of Coronavirus," CIP Twizeyimana said.

He added: "Police and investigators worked together to arrest Nzabahimana red-handed receiving money from one of the would-be victim in Rubona Sector, Nawe Cell in Gaseke Village.

We have since leant all the three victims had violated the directives and were selling alcohol, and Nzabahimana targeted them because of their vulnerability."

The spokesperson commended those, who reported the fraudulent act.

Clause One of article 174 of the law determining offences and penalties in general, defines fraud as deception, obtaining another person’s property, whole or part of his/her finance by use of false names or qualifications, or offering positive promises or threats of future misfortunes.

Clause Two of the same article provides a term of imprisonment of between two and three years, and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million but not more than Rwf5 million, upon conviction.

In article 276, anyone convicted of impersonation faces an imprisonment term of not less than five years but not more than seven years and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties.

He, however, warned against all actions and behaviors that undermine and violate government directives, thus increasing risks of catching or spreading COVID-19.

"Bars are still closed as per the government directive; anyone operating a bar or who turns his home into a bar is breaching the directives and will be penalized," CIP Twizeyimana warned.

He emphasized that Police officers or any other official charged with enforcing the directives do not solicit bribes.

"Anyone, who asks for money so as to ignore or allow an illegal act to continue is also committing a crime and should be reported and arrested to face the law."