By Daniel Sabiiti
At least Rwf14million has gone missing at rural Banques Populaires du Rwanda (BPR) bank in Bugesera district and two staff banks are suspected to have walked away with the community savings.
This has however left BPR Batima branch clients with no options of banking near their vicinity- which is contrary to the BPR bank slogan- “Our bank near us”.
Reports indicate that clients are now making 20 kilometers to access the nearest BPR bank in Gashora sector.
The two suspects have been the only bank employees operating at the bank located in Batima, Rweru sector in Bugesera district. They allegedly disappeared and left the bank doors closed.
The executive secretary of Rweru sector, Jean Chrisostome Rwabuhihi confirmed the developments saying that the two suspects have not been seen at work since Saturday October 8, 2016.
The bank didn’t open on Monday October 10, 2016 raising suspicion among its clients who informed sector official of the unusual scenario, and bank officials were informed immediately, compelling a forced bank door break and audit of finances.
“The outcomes by the time of the audit indicated that at least Rwf14million was missing in the counters. But we don’t know where the suspects are and how much money could be missing” Rwabuhihi said.
For now, the BPR Batima branch remains closed till further notice.
While the plight of BPR clients is not clear, for now, the local area Police in Bugesera has lodged an investigation and a man-hunt of the two suspects and called on residents to give information that could lead to their arrest.
Originally Bank Populaire was initiated as a largest community saving bank in Rwanda. The bank has since evolved and in 2008, UBPR transformed to become a commercial bank but while retaining its cooperative roots.
Today, Atlas Mara Limited has 62.1% of the shares, strategic partner Rabobank has 14.6% and 23.3% retained by Local Shareholders. The latter having the main mission to help upgrade “BPR” into a fully-fledged retail bank.