Woman arrested with fake US$20,000

On 30 July 2019 at 09:34

Law enforcement agencies in the City of Kigali, on Saturday, arrested a woman identified as Florence Uvutseneza in possession of counterfeit notes worth US$20,100, approximately Rwf19 million.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Marie-Gorette Umutesi, the Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali said that Uvutseneza, a 28-year-old from Gicumbi, was arrested at a bar in Gatsata, Gasabo District.

“Earlier on Saturday, Gatsata Police station received information that Uvutseneza had a big sum of dollars, which she was trying to sell illegally. The informer also suspected the money to be fake,” Umutesi said.

Apparently, Uvutseneza tried to bring a taxi-moto operator into the deal. The deal was that the taxi-moto operator would look for someone to buy the dollars, although he wasn’t aware that the money was fake. Knowing that this was an illegal act, the motorcyclist rode to Gatsata Police station and reported the unlawful act.

“Reacting on the credible information, law enforcement agencies worked together and tracked Uvutseneza at a bar in Gatsata at about 6 pm, where she was at the time trying to defraud someone with the fake dollars,” she added.

Umutesi explained that when they apprehended the suspect, she was not found with the money at the time.

“This prompted the officers to search the private room at the bar where she was found. The fake money was later recovered in the ceiling of the room where she was seated,” the spokesperson explained.

It is said that Uvutseneza got into the room earlier and found a way to get into the ceiling where she hid the money as a precaution to avoid arrest.

It is not the first time Uvutseneza has been arrested in similar financial crimes. She was released from Mageragere prison in August 2017, after serving her one-year sentence over the same crime.

Under the new penal code, anyone convicted for the crime now faces imprisonment of between five and seven years, and a fine ranging from Rwf7 million to Rwf10 million.

Umutesi commended the responsiveness of the motorcyclist who was quick to provide information that led to the arrest of Uvutseneza.

“Exchange of money as a business is done by licensed people with an address. Those people operating black markets are the same people who will defraud you with counterfeit money,” Umutesi cautioned.

She further called for vigilance to avoid falling prey.

At least six people were arrested last week, four of them in Kigali, with fake money. They were either trying to deposit the fake money with telecom banking accounts, clearing bills or buying goods.

The National Bank of Rwanda says the threat of counterfeiting of Rwandan currency remains as low as 0.001% of currency in circulation.

Experts say fake monies cause inflation due to more money getting circulated in the economy – an unauthorized artificial increase in the money supply; leads to decrease in the acceptability of paper money and cause losses to the business community, and may lead to expansion of the underground illegal activities, which are not always part of the tax base.