Police in Ngoma District arrested a suspected conman on Wednesday, who was attempting to buy a house using plain papers.
The papers had been cut in the size of US dollar notes.
The 28-year-old man was arrested in Kinunga Cell of Remera Sector, as he attempted to fraudulently acquire a house, the police said.
The would-be victim, identified as Pauline Uwanyirigira, said that she had spent some days negotiating with the suspect on the price and they finally settled for Rwf2.5 million.
On Wednesday, at about 3:30pm, Uwanyirigira said, the suspect (name withheld) came with a sealed small box with labels indicating that it contained US$100, 000.
“I was with another person, whom I had called as the witness in the signing of the sale agreement. So, he told us that he had dollar bills in the box and that he didn’t have time to exchange it or go to the bank to withdraw Rwandan francs,” Uwanyirigira narrated.
She added: “He tried to convince us believe that this was worth a fortune, telling us that he would also connect us to someone that would help us exchange the dollars.”
“I don’t know dollars or the exchange rate… I don’t know where they exchange and neither did the man I was with. So, we decided to call the police to be very sure that we were not being conned.”
According to the acting District Police Commander for Ngoma, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Dominique Nkurunziza, Police officers at Remera station immediately responded.
“Good enough the suspect didn’t know that the police had been called in, that’s why we found him at the scene. When they opened the small box they found it was stashed with just papers and he was immediately taken into custody,” CIP Nkurunziza said.
According to the suspect, he got the papers from someone in Kigali, but he couldn’t divulge further details.
The DPC commended the vigilance of the would-be victim adding that “such suspicions are healthy and helpful in cases where one is about to be duped.”
“Don’t engage in any deal when you are not one hundred per cent sure that it’s real. If you have your suspicions call the police or any other relevant authorities to help you. For example, if we had found that the dollars were real, this woman would have gone ahead to seal the deal,” Nkurunziza said.
Upon conviction, fraud or deception under article 174 of the new penal code, is punishable with an imprisonment of two to three years and a fine of between Rwf3 million and Rwf5 million.