Criminals are using new tricks to dupe unsuspecting members of the public to fleece them of money and other valuables, Police have said.
In their new trick, some of the criminals claim to be suppliers of vehicle parts such as bearings and con their gullible victims into giving them money.
Most of their victims believe them after seeing samples of the purported products.
Police have cautioned the public against such tricks after over seven such cases were reported recently.
Police said last week it had arrested five suspects who had, by the time of their arrest, obtained more than Rwf50 million from various individuals in Kigali.
They were apprehended on Thursday from various parts of the City.
The suspects, men aged between 30 and 45 years, claim to be selling cheaply goods obtained from regional countries.
“It’s a new system of theft in the country; Rwandans should be cautious of such people who are posing as traders. We also urge the telecommunication companies to always be vigilant while registering people’s sim-cards,” Emmanuel Kabanda, a Police communications officer, said.
He said some people register cards under fake identifications which they use to commit crimes.
Several mobile phone gadgets used by the suspected con men were also recovered.
The Police said there is a racket made of seven groups operating in Kigali with various responsibilities, including posing as marketers and distributors.
Initially, they carry out surveys to establish the exact people who might want certain bearing machines.
How they work
After getting the client, they take him or her to meet their manager in a certain office, where they negotiate and promise to distribute the machines at cheaper prices.
After the client have paid them, immediately they switch off their phones and use other mobile phone numbers. The office will also be closed immediately.
Police said the suspects have a regional network in East African countries and international markets, especially in Asian countries, where they also sell fake minerals like gold.
However, speaking from Police offices in Kacyiru, some of the suspects denied the allegations leveled against them, saying they were genuine traders.
But when pressed on where they operate from, they could not clearly locate their offices or shops.
“I have not committed any crime. I sell my products at various prices to different customers. I have been in this business for only three months though I don’t have any office or shop,” one of the suspected con men, whose name is withheld for legal reasons, said.
Fleecing charges attract between three to five years in jail upon conviction and a fine of Rwf3 million to Rwf5 million.