Lody Hakizimana, 44, allegedly offered the bribe in an attempt to rescue his vehicle, which was impounded with smuggled goods, and his driver, who had been taken into custody over the same crime.
The vehicle; RAB 471X Fuso type was intercepted at about 3:30 am in Kibuye along Karongi-Nyamasheke highway.
The District Police Commander for Karongi, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Julien Nkurikiyinka, said that the vehicle was intercepted at a check-point mounted in Bwishyura Sector.
“Police officers stopped the Fuso, searched and found it was loaded with smuggled bales of secondhand clothes; they first arrested its driver identified as Lorien Nteziryimana,” CIP Nkurikiyinka said.
He added: “The driver called his boss [Hakizimana], who was in another vehicle ahead; Hakizimana came back and tried to seduce the officers with a bribe of Rwf1 million in order to release his vehicle, goods and the driver; he was immediately taken into custody.”
The DPC warned against smuggling and bribery, and appealed to the general public to “respect and follow the law.”
“It is one crime to engage in smuggling activities but worse when you try to offer bribes, which is a serious crime,” he warned.
Clause 2 of article 2 of Law N° 54/2018 of 13/08/2018 on fighting corruption, defines corruption as “any act performed or caused to be performed in public organs, private institutions, civil society and international organizations operating or wishing to operate in Rwanda, which is aimed at soliciting, receiving or offering an illicit benefit in order to unlawfully obtain illicit enrichment or a given favor of sexual nature to unlawfully render a service or carry out an activity whether carried on by himself or herself or through another person.”
Article 4 of the same article provides a term of imprisonment of between five and seven years, and three to five times the value of the offered bribe, upon conviction.
Under the East African Community Management Act, especially in its article 199, anyone caught driving a vehicle with smuggled goods is slapped a fine of US$5000 while the vehicle and the goods are auctioned.