Serena loses Rwf11m in staged carjacking
Two Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) soldiers and three staff of Kivu Serena Hotel are in police custody for allegedly staging a hold-up, in which large sums of money belonging to the hotel was robbed at gun point.
According to Police, Eric Muhoza and Patrick Niyonzima, both at the rank of corporal in RDF with their accomplices Lea Uwantege, Claude Mbaga and Mediatrice Umulisa employees of the hotel are to be handed over to the military prosecution for trial.
When contacted to confirm in which courts the suspects will be tried, army spokesman Major Jill Rutarema, said that the trial of the five suspects will be held in the military court.
“Any civilian who commits a crime with a soldier is tried in the court-martial,” Rutarema said.
Uwantege is the cashier of the Western Province-based hotel; Mbaga is a driver while Umulisa is a hotel clerk.
“On May 5, the three staff members left with a hotel car going to the bank to deposit Rwf 4.9m, US$10,555 and Euros 240. A fake car jacking was staged by these three together with the two soldiers who diverted the car towards Ruhengeri road,” said Police Spokesman John Uwamungu.
The robbery was carried out at 3:30pm in Rubavu District, Western Province.
The hotel staff are said to have met with the two corporals on their way to the bank who stopped them at gunpoint and ordered them to drive towards Ruhengeri.
According to Uwamungu, the trio are said to have parted with the soldiers and went to report that they had been waylaid and the money robbed but police decided to hold them for further interrogations.
“They reported the case at Kanzenze police station claiming that their vehicle had been hijacked but further investigations led to the arrest of the two soldiers-a clear indication that the car jacking was a hoax and three hotel staff had played a role in the robbery,” said Uwamungu.
He said that so far, police have recovered Rwf 4.8m, US$7826 and Euro 240.