Currency counterfeiting: One arrested in Rusizi

On 3 January 2020 at 09:45

Police in Rusizi District are holding a man identified as Niyigira Silas, 33, for allegedly counterfeiting and circulating fake money.

Niyigira was arrested on Wednesday in Gasarabuye trading centre in Nyakabuye Sector.

He was at the time found in possession of fake money amounting to Rwf20, 000, Police said.

The fake notes were in the denominations of Rwf5000, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Kayigi, the Western region Police spokesperson, said.

"Niyigira was identified when he tried to use a fake note of Rwf5, 000 to buy meat. The butcher attendant, after noticing that the note was fake, sought the help of local residents, located the whereabouts of Niyigira and informed the Police," CIP Kayigi said.

"When Police officers searched him after his arrest, they found him with other three fake notes in the denominations of Rwf5, 000."

Niyigira, who admitted to the crime, said that he is supplied the fake notes by another person, but couldn’t divulge details.

“Although currency counterfeit is not a big problem in Rwanda, we need to ensure that no fake bills penetrate the market. If you suspect someone to be engaged in these criminal acts just call the Police,” CIP Kayigi said, calling for vigilance of traders not to fall prey.

The threat of counterfeiting of Rwandan currency stands as low as 0.001% of the currency in circulation, according to the National Bank of Rwanda.

“Counterfeits have a negative impact on individuals, family as well as the country’s economy. It is, therefore, important that everyone becomes vigilant to fight the vice,” said Kayigi.

According to article 269 of the penal code, anyone convicted of counterfeit, falsification or alteration of currency or monetary signs, faces an imprisonment term of between five and seven years.