Two impersonators apprehended in Rusizi

On 3 July 2021 at 05:42

Two people were arrested Thursday, July 1, in Gahinga Village, Buhoko Cell, Gashonga Sector of Rusizi District where they were masquerading as security personnel and fleecing unwitting members of the public.

Samuel Rugwabiza, 35, and Fabrice Kwizera, 21, claiming to be members of security organs enforcing the national directives on Covid-19 prevention, were defrauding owners of shops through threats.

The Western region Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi said Police responded to information from area residents about the two men calling themselves security personnel and soliciting money from traders and locking their shops.

"Residents called the Police reporting the two men. Kwizera was impersonating a Police officer while Rugwabiza was guising as a Dasso personnel. They had padlocks which they were using to lock shops apparently for operating beyond permitted hours and solicing money from owners in order to remove the locks," CIP Karekezi said.

He added: "Rugwabiza resides in Buhoko Cell and residents were able to recognize him, so they called the Police. At the time of their arrest, Rugwabiza and Kwizera had already locked six shops and threatened to reopen them after owners gives them money."

The two men, CIP Karekezi said, is not the first time they have been implicated in similar criminal acts.

"On June 30, Kwizera and Rugwabiza fleeced two people in the same area of Frw15,000 after threatening to close their shops."

CIP Karekezi urged the public to always be vigilant against such criminals.

"Security personnel enforcing the directives do not solicit bribes. Anyone who asks for money is a fraudster or an official committing a crime and should be reported and arrested to face the law," the spokesperson emphasized.

He further urged the public to respect the national Covid-19 prevention directives, close their businesses early and be home in time.

The suspects were handed over to RIB at Gashonga station for further investigation.

Article 281 of law determining offences and penalties in general states that any person, who claims to be attached to a legally regulated profession, a certificate, an official diploma or any other entitlements granted by a competent authority to a person meeting requirements set by a competent authority, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to an imprisonment for a term of not less than one (1) month and less than six (6) months and a fine of not less than Frw500,000 and not more than Frw1 million.

In article 279, it partly states that any person who without tittle usurps public, civil or military functions or poses the acts of one these functions or falsely attributes to himself/herself the quality of a public official... commits an offence.

Upon conviction, the offender faces between two and three years in prison, and a fine of not more than Rwf300,000 but not more than Rwf500, 000.

In article 174, any person who by deception, obtains another person’s property, whole or part of his/her finance by use of false names or qualifications or who offers positive promises or who threatens of future misfortunes, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than three years and a fine of between Rwf3 million and Rwf5 million.