The 37 fake currency notes were in the denominations of US$100.
Credible information about Muhawenimana’s criminal dealings was shared by a community policing partner close to her, according to Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the police spokesperson of Western region.
“A resident and partner in community policing saw Muhawenimana with many fake dollar notes and confirmed existing suspicions that she is involved in counterfeiting money. The resident then alerted the police, and she was arrested red-handed with the counterfeit money,” CIP Karekezi said.
He added that the suspect also had other 44 pieces of paper that she was yet to print into other fake dollars.
After her arrest, Muhawenimana disclosed identities of other two people she works with to counterfeit money and distribute it.
The two accomplices still at large, according to Muhawenimana, are the ones with the gadgets used to counterfeit currencies.
Muhawenimana, however, declined to give further details into their alleged economic crime, including how long they have been into this criminal business, how much fake money they have so far distributed and if they also counterfeit other currencies apart from dollars.
CIP Karekezi commended the proactive and responsive spirit of the person, who unearthed the criminal ring.
He warned of serious legal actions against anyone involved in these economic crimes and called upon the general public to report such individuals to save losses incurred especially by small businesses that are mainly targeted.
Muhawenimana was handed over to Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) in Gisenyi for the next legal steps to be taken.
Article 296 in the law relating to offences and penalties in general, says “any person who, fraudulently counterfeits, falsifies or alters coins or bank notes which are legal tender in Rwanda or abroad, notes issued by the Treasury with its stamp or brand,
either banknotes or alike that have legal tender in Rwanda or abroad, or one who introduces or issues in Rwanda such effects or notes with the knowledge that they are forged or falsified, commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five (5) years and not more than seven (7) years.”