The Rwanda National Police (RNP) operations and awareness to protect the economy against fake currencies continues to yield positive results, thanks to the vigilance of the business community and strong partnership between the general public and security organs, police has said.
This follows the arrest of one Patrick Mujyambere on October 31 in Kamembe Sector of Rusizi District, after he was found in possession of fake currency notes amounting to 750 Euros.
According to the Police spokesperson for the western region, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Theobald Kanamugire “these are rare cases but which can impact negatively on business growth and the economy in general.”
In most cases, he noted, suspects in such cases have been arrested and warned against such acts.
CIP Kanamugire went on to commend the vigilance and partnership among the residents particularly for having tipped the police on Mujyambere’s acts, which he called “fruits of partnership and real time information sharing” against such counterfeits and crimes in general.
“Cases related to counterfeiting of currencies and distributing them, as you may be aware, are not common in Rwanda but even a single case has its impact on the economy where victims will lose their money. Faking money is a crime punishable by the law. Therefore, observing and implementing the law is equally the responsibility of everyone.”
Articles 601 to 604 of the Rwandan penal code criminalize and punish those who falsify or alter coins and bills which are legal tender. The articles also punish those, who knowingly circulates fake monies and those who acquires fake currencies unknowingly, but circulates them after discovering they are counterfeit.
Experts say fake monies causes inflation due to more money getting circulated in the economy – an unauthorised artificial increase in the money supply; leads to decrease in the acceptability of paper money and cause losses to the business community.
“Though financial institutions have installed hi-tech equipment to easily detect fake monies, the likely majority victims could be the local people dealing in small businesses in communities; those selling vegetables, owning small shops in villages,” CIP Kanamugire said and appealed to trader to be vigilant and check the authenticity of the notes.
Police has also put in place stringent measures to combat this crime including the establishment of units charged with fighting such financial related crimes, sensitization especially among the business community and building s strong bond with the general public and the business groups, all which have been instrumental in keeping this malpractice as low as possible.