The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) is a Government institution that is constitutionally mandated to investigate and prosecute all crimes committed throughout the country. Its mission is to participate to the Security of People and their property by pursuing the authors of breaches and criminals to bring them to justice with equity of treatment according to the ambition of the Constitution and International Law ratified by Rwanda. The overall objective of NPPA is “To improve effectiveness and efficiency institutional capacity to be able to deliver fair and timely prosecutorial services in order to help the government of Rwanda to achieve Accountable Governance. In this perspective, the NPPA has given priority to investigation and prosecution of economic and financial crimes. These include embezzlement of public funds, corruption and related offences, tax evasion, legal awarding of public tenders, money laundering etc. Accordingly, the NPPA has established the economics and financial crimes unit specialized in investigating and prosecuting these crimes. Handled cases In the last four years, the NPPA has registered many case files related to economic and financial crimes while many more cases were filed with courts including a number of accused persons for embezzling funds. From (2013-2014/2014-2015/2015-2016/2016-2017), the NPPA registered 2,225 cases and 1,499 cases were filed with courts including 2,111 accused persons for the funds totalling to Frw 44,914,298,214. In this year (2017-2018, the NPPA has so far received 460 files. 227 of these files were completed and 190 of them, which involved 232 suspects, were handed over to the courts of law with a total amount involved was Rwf 135 million. Pronounced cases In the last four years, the NPPA pleaded in the courts 1343 cases related to financial crimes including 2099 accused persons of which 1562 persons were convicted. As a result, the courts ordered the convicts to pay back funds totalling frw 19,333, 429,263 and also fined them frw7, 106,275, 069. This year (2017/2018) the NPPA has so far prosecuted 153 cases and 188 individuals were found guilty in these cases. They were ordered to refund Rwf 1billion and were fined Rwf 1.2 billion. The conviction rate for economic and financial crimes prosecution has steadily increased from 52.9% in 2011-2012 to 94.1% in the 2016-2017. Government welfare programs The Government of Rwanda considers that social protection provides income support to poor households or those at risk of falling into poverty, as well as interventions to help them overcome financial barriers to accessing public services such as health care and education, and also provide associated in-kind assistance essential in contribution to the achievement of its development goals. Its commitment to social protection was demonstrated under the first Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS1), during which it set up the flagship social protection programme, the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP). Under the current national development strategy, EDPRS2 for 2013-2018, social protection interventions contribute in particular to the priority area of, ‘Enabling graduation from extreme poverty’, under the theme of Rural Development. In order to contribute to the success of welfare and social protection programs, the NPPA has put special attention on cases involving the mismanagement of social protection funds. In the last four years, NPPA received 245 case related to VUP, Girinka, Ubudehe, FARG, Mutual Health insurance, Fertilizers, SACCO, etc. and filed to court 155 cases bringing the number of accused persons to 282 for the funds totalling to Frw 2, 611,202, 589. The NPPA has also pleaded in the courts117 cases in relation to welfare program including 172 accused persons of which 126 people were convicted. The court has ordered convicts to pay back over 261 million francs and fined them over 300 million francs. Investigating allegations of public funds mismanagement disclosed by the Auditor General’s Reports Article 166 of the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of June 2003 revised in 2015 stipulates that the Auditor General shall submit each year to each Chamber of Parliament, prior to the commencement of the session devoted to the examination of the budget of the following year, a complete report on the state financial statements for the previous year. A copy of the report is submitted to the President of the Republic, Cabinet, the President of Supreme Court, and the Prosecutor General. That report must indicate the manner in which the budget was utilised, unnecessary expenditure which was incurred or expenses which were contrary to the law and whether there was wasteful expenditure or misappropriation. Upon receiving the copy of the Report, the NPPA proceeds with investigation and prosecution of the offences allegedly committed as disclosed in the Report. Since 2007, the NPPA has so far investigated 295 cases including 1,113 suspected persons. These cases were filed with the competent courts. The NPPA has also recovered before trial a total amount of over 520 million RWF, 12, 600 USD and 3,726 Euro. In addition, 347 suspects were fined 167,250,000 RWF. While conducting investigations, the NPPA can find that some of the allegations are not of criminal nature. In this case, a list of civil servants who have committed administrative mistakes is annually transmitted to the Office of the Prime Minister for further actions. Domestic and international cooperation in tracing assets seizure/freezing and confiscation The NPPA has strengthened its efforts in improving international cooperation in penal matters. In effort to trace and seize/freezing criminal assets hidden abroad, NPPA has sent a number of requests to foreign countries including Belgium, Canada, USA, Spain, Nigeria, Uganda and the Central African Republic requesting these countries to assist in investigation. At the domestic level, the NPPA is working with different public and private institutions to ensure that criminals are not hiding their assets. So far, 29 bank accounts including over 200 million francs have been frozen and a caveat has been put on over 234 plots of land. Challenges encountered and way forward The main challenges being encountered by NPPA while investigating and prosecuting economic and financial crimes are the cyber related crime and transnational nature of these crimes. With regard to the cyber related crimes, the NPPA will continue to train investigators and prosecutors to increase their capacity in handling such cases. As for transnational nature of these financial crimes, the NPPA will also continue to enhance its cooperation with foreign countries to ensure that stolen assets hidden abroad are seized or frozen for subsequent confiscation by courts and recovery.