Rwanda National Police (RNP) has apprehended six individuals suspected of collaborating to rob US$725,000 from an Indian proprietor of Golden Gold, a company dealing in the trade of minerals.
Through the investigations, police was able to recover a total of US$618,000, which was safely returned to the owner, Karim Somji, on June 2, at the headquarters of RNP in Kacyiru.
The rest of the money is believed to be held by the seventh suspect, who managed to escape according to the Police Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Celestin Twahirwa.
The robbery incident happened on May 24, reportedly, when the money was being transported by Hyacinth Gahunde, an employee of Golden Gold, in a vehicle from Rubavu to Kigali.
Along the way, upon reaching Shyorongi Sector in Rulindo, Gahunde and his driver were stopped by two men wearing police uniforms, masquerading as traffic officers and armed with one guns.
They were then robbed at gunpoint, cuffed and then dumped in a nearby bush. They however managed to notify police later.
“Police investigations indicate that all those involved including the money transporters, Gahunde, the driver and those who conducted the robbery were all part of a planned heist. It involved seven individuals and we were able to arrest six of them,” CSP Twahirwa said.
“Among those arrested include a police cpl who provided the uniforms, hand cuffs and gun that the thieves used to conduct the robbery and a military Sergeant who was one of the two suspected thieves who masqueraded as a traffic officer.”
Police mounted intense investigations and three days after the robbery incident, the suspects were arrested.
The Police Spokesperson also warned against the physical movement of huge amounts of money, noting that it encourages theft.
One can suspect that transactions of carrying huge sums of money is due to hidden agendas like evading taxes.
“People must take care of their money and valuables effectively without risking. It is not understandable how someone can physically carry all that money yet they can use cheque books and automated money-transfer methods that are available throughout the country,” he said.
The suspects if found guilty are to face a number of charges.
Armed robbery is punished under the Penal Code, article 304 which provides for a term of imprisonment of six to eight years, while formation of a criminal gang is punished with five to seven years in article 682.
In article 616, the law criminalizes the act of falsely acquiring the powers of a public officer or publicly wearing a uniform or an emblem with intent to mislead the public, with an imprisonment term of one to three years and a fine of Rwf 50,000 to Rwf500,000