RNP Warns on Fake Currency: Here’s How You Can Spot a Counterfeit Note

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The Southern Region Police Spokesperson, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi.

Counterfeit or forged money is never considered a major problem in Rwanda, but one cannot ignore the fact that there are forged currency notes in circulation, in various denominations, and can haunt business and the economy in general, if not checked collectively at an early stage.

Besides being illegal and a crime under the Rwandan laws, fake money has an ill-effect on society as it leads to a reduction in the value of real money.

It increases prices (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, to mention but a few.

These traders will lose their goods to these crooks and will not be reimbursed for the detected and confiscated fake monies.

Some individuals involved in forging and circulating monies have been arrested, majority prosecuted.

On Sunday, Police in Nyaruguru District arrested five men, separately, who were found in possession of counterfeit currencies in different denominations.

The suspects were identified as Emmanuel Niyomugabo, Olivier Nshimiyimana, Jean Claude Nsengimana, Emmanuel Nzeyimana and Ignace Nsengimana.

They were found with fake money amounting to Rwf 115, 000 and US$100. They are currently held at Kibeho Police station as investigations proceed.

The Southern Region Police Spokesperson, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi called upon the business community to be vigilant not to fall prey of such scams.

Though crimes related to currency counterfeit are rare, he warned of serious repercussion to anyone caught in this act.

“Rwandans shouldn’t be victims of such fraudsters and should always provide police with information on such individuals. Counterfeits devalues the national currency, which directly affects the economy. In most cases, people lose their money whenever they don’t verify if the notes are authentic and this also affects their business,” he added.

He further advised the business community including shop attendants and mobile banking agents, the most targeted, to always be vigilant and verify the bills at all times to prevent falling prey.

Under article 601 of the penal code any person who fraudulently counterfeits, falsifies or alters coins, which are legal tender in Rwanda or abroad, bills issued by the State and bearing its stamp or emblem, banknotes, authorized notes or any other related effects used in Rwanda or abroad, or any person who introduces or issues on the Rwandan territory bills or notes which are legal tender with knowledge that they are counterfeit or altered, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of between five and seven years.

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