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 said.
This follows the arrest of one Damien Uwitonze on April 28 in Coko Sector of Gakenke District, after he was found in possession of fake currency notes amounting to Rwf203, 000.
According to Inspector of Police (IP) Innocent Gasasira, Police spokesperson for the Northern Province, the “rare cases in the region related to either counterfeiting or circulating fake currencies have been noticed by the would-be victims, who were helped by residents to keep the suspect in the watch until police arrives.”
“Uwitonze went to one of the shops in Coko trading centre where he attempted to buy radio receiver batteries with a fake note of Rwf5000; the shop attendant couldn’t verify if the note was genuine or not but out of suspicion, she called a friend, who was nearby who actually helped her and confirmed that the money was fake,” IP Gasasira said.
“The residents were quick to call police, officers arrived shortly and when they searched Uwitonze they recovered 203 fake notes in total, 38 of them in Rwf5, 000 denominations while others were of Rwf1, 000,” he added.
He commended the vigilance and partnership among the residents themselves to ensure their own security by fighting anything that might affect their well-being, and “championing the concept of community policing.”
“Cases related to counterfeiting of currencies and distributing them, as you may be aware, are not common in Rwanda, let alone in the Northern Province, but even a single case has its impact on the economy where victims will lose their money, but again it is a crime punishable by the law. Therefore, observing the law is equally the responsibility of everyone.”
Counterfeiting or circulating fake monies is punishable under articles 601 to 605 of the Rwanda penal code with an imprisonment of up to five years.
Rwanda National Police has, therefore, 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.