‘City Hummer’ tycoon held on theft charges

He basked into the limelight like an aurora. And he has no doubt been a role model for many, particularly, the young. But the public excitement about the man who owns an expensive car-fleet, including a limousine and a hummer, in town could be no more. Barry Ndengeyingoma alias Ndengeye is now behind bars.Police detained him on Thursday on alleged charges of money laundering, counterfeiting and forging documents.The hummer tycoon, as he’s commonly referred to, was arrested after Rwanda National Police received a red notice from Interpol Brussels, in connection with the three crimes he allegedly committed in Belgium.
Ngendeyingoma a.k.a Ndengeye and his fiancee Samia during an August fundraising function for the planned MOGAR school in the Eastern Province. (File photo)
Ngendeyingoma a.k.a Ndengeye and his fiancee Samia during an August fundraising function for the planned MOGAR school in the Eastern Province. (File photo)

He burst into the limelight like an aurora. And he has no doubt been a role model for many, particularly, the young.

But the public excitement about the man who owns an expensive car-fleet, including a limousine and a hummer, in town could be no more. Barry Ndengeyingoma alias Ndengeye is now behind bars.Police detained him on Thursday on alleged charges of money laundering, counterfeiting and forging documents.

The hummer tycoon, as he’s commonly referred to, was arrested after Rwanda National Police received a red notice from Interpol Brussels, in connection with the three crimes he allegedly committed in Belgium.

“He is in our custody, and we are working on his file to be presented to the Prosecution probably on Monday,” CID director Chief Superintendent Costa Habyara, said yesterday.

Habyara could however not disclose how much money Ndengeyingoma is alleged to have stolen, only saying: “The amount is huge. It is in lots of Euros.”

The Deputy Police Commissioner in Charge of Operations, Mary Gahonzire, also confirmed the arrest. She said that they had requested their Belgian counterparts to avail them the details of the charges.

“He has been using many names, and we are handling the case seriously,” she said.

However, speaking by telephone from Kicukiro Police Station yesterday, Ndengeyingoma, brushed off the accusations, claiming his arrest followed a related judgment by a Belgian court in his absence.

“They are questioning me about things in Belgium related to money laundering.

Those are just malicious allegations created from Belgium because a court there sentenced me even without hearing my side of the story,” a cagey Ndengeyingoma, who also owns Rubavu-based Palm Beach Hotel and a new club in Kigali, B-Club, said.

He refused to admit that he had been arrested, and was equally reluctant to discuss details of the alleged verdict in Belgium.

“How could they convict someone without giving him a chance to defend himself?” he questioned.

“I had arranged to meet with some (Belgian) officials on Monday.”

However, the interview was interrupted by what his fiancee Samia called an interrogative session.

“He is answering some questions from someone,” Samia said after Ndengeyingoma hang up.

Samia, who is a common figure in Ndengeyingoma’s black limousine, said the so-called Belgian verdict occurred around June or July, this year.

“(Ndengeyingoma) is a Rwandan, and therefore needs to clear some facts with the Rwandan prosecution. The Belgian authorities had called him a couple of weeks ago about the case,” she claimed.

She rejected claims that Ndengeyingoma owns three hummers, saying: “He has a limousine and one hummer for personal use.”

She however added that the tycoon has also lately imported another limousine which is still packed at Rwanda Revenue Authority’s bonded warehouse, Magerwa, in Gikondo.

She said that one will be used by the manager of Ndengeyingoma’s company.

She said the company is called Africa Biz and runs the mogul’s businesses including Palm Beach Hotel and B-Club.

The flashy Ngendeyingoma stole the show a few months ago when his hummer was washed by two ministers during a fundraising event for a new school expected to open soon in the Eastern Province.

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