Police re-arrest notorious forgery suspect after tip-off

KIGALI - The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested two men for allegedly forging a cheque and attempting to defraud a local bank. One of them had jumped bail early this year.
Habimana (L),and Kazihise (R).
Habimana (L),and Kazihise (R).

KIGALI - The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested two men for allegedly forging a cheque and attempting to defraud a local bank. One of them had jumped bail early this year.

The suspects, identified as Gustave Kazihise ,alias Brasius Kazerwa, and David Bizimana, were arrested Tuesday at Banque de Kigali (BK).

According to CID Director, Chief Superintendent Costa Habyara, Kazihise presented a cheque to BK which bore contradicting names and the bank officials immediately alerted CID.

The suspected counterfeiters had allegedly misspelt the names of the bona fide owner of the cheque on the bottom left hand-side of the cheque, which caused suspicion from bank officials.

The forged cheque bore the name of Jacques Rutayisire instead of Jacques Rusirare, a prominent businessman and owner of Ameki Color.

According to Habyara, the suspects learnt that Jacques Rusirare had issued a cheque of Frw 4,647,312 and decided to forge the cheque immediately before the recipient withdrew the money.

Habimana, who is said to be the brains behind the illegal deal, forged a national ID card for Kazihise bearing names of one Brasius Kazerwa.

The forged ID shows that Kazerwa was born in 1972 and that it had been issued in Musambira, Southern Province, yet his original ID mentions Kicukiro in Kigali.

Habimana also allegedly forged and signed the Frw 4,647,312 BK cheque.

The forgery, a copy of which was obtained by The New Times, bears account number 00040-0012753-79, with a cheque number of 02643003.

Apart from the name of the genuine owner of the bank account, all the other details on the counterfeit cheque matched those on the genuine cheque.

Following the tip-off from the bank personnel, CID officers dressed in plainclothes swung into action immediately, arresting Kazihise.

When he was arrested, he (Kazihise) said that he had got the cheque from Habimana, who was still waiting for the money.

CID officers then laid a trap for the suspected mastermind. They drove Kazihise to Biryogo, a city suburb, where Habimana was believed to be, and asked him to call the latter and tell him to come and collect his money. Habimana was arrested upon arrival

It also emerged that it was not the first time Habimana was being implicated in robbery cases, having in March allegedly connived with an employee of Cogebanque and defrauded the bank of Euro 70,000 (approx. Frw 60 million).

The suspect was at the time arrested but later jumped bail.
Police investigators suspect Habimana could have undergone high-tech training in China to be able to commit such sophisticated forgery.

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