Law enforcement agencies in the City of Kigali, on Saturday, arrested a woman identified as Florence Uvutseneza in possession of counterfeit US$20,100, approximately Rwf19 million.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Marie-Gorette Umutesi, the Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali said that Uvutseneza, the 28 year old who hails from Gicumbi, was arrested at a bar in Gatsata, Gasabo District.
“Earlier on Saturday, Gatsata Police station received information that Uvutseneza had a big sum of dollars, which she was trying to sell illegally. The informer also suspected the money to be fake,” Umutesi said.
“Reacting on the credible information, law enforcement agencies worked together and tracked Uvutseneza at a bar in Gatsata at about 6 pm, where she was at the time trying to defraud someone with the fake dollars,” she added.
Umutesi explained that when they apprehended the suspect, she was not found with the money at the time.
“This prompted the officers to search the private room at the bar where she was found. The fake money was later recovered in the ceiling of the room where she was seated,” the spokesperson explained.
It is said that Uvutseneza got into the room earlier and found a way to get into the ceiling where she hid the money as a precaution to avoid arrest.
It is not the first time Uvutseneza has been arrested in similar financial crimes.
She was released from Mageragere prison in August 2017, after serving her one-year sentence over the same crime.
Under the new penal code, the article on money counterfeit was revised with anyone convicted for the crime now faces an imprisonment of between five and seven years, and a fine ranging from Rwf7 million to Rwf10 million.
Umutesi commended the responsiveness of the resident, who was quick to provide information that led to the arrest of Uvutseneza.
“Exchange of money as a business is done by licensed people with an address. Those people operating black markets are the same people who will defraud you with counterfeit money,” Umutesi said.
She further called for vigilance to avoid falling prey.
At least six people were arrested last week, four of them in Kigali, with fake money. They were either trying to deposit the fake monies on telecom banking accounts, clearing bills or buying goods.