Police are holding a businessman and two commercial motorcyclists for allegedly attempting to bribe officers who had arrested them for violating laws.
The businessman identified as David Hitimana, 50, was arrested at the Gatuna border post on Tuesday, while trying to smuggle trousers from Uganda.
“He had only paid VAT for 60 trousers out of 93. He was advised to approach the customs office and pay tax for all his merchandise but instead chose to offer the officer-on-duty a bribe of Rwf20,000 to let him pass. The officer reported him and he was instantly arrested,” ACP Bosco Rangira, the Commanding Officer of the Police Revenue Protection Department, said.
“Traders must refrain from offering bribes and evading taxes. Police officers are professional and will arrest anyone who indulges in corruption.”
The suspect is currently held at Mulindi Police station.
In another incident, Jean de Dieu Ndayisaba, 35, whose motorcycle had been impounded due to lack of documents, was arrested in Nyanza Sector, Nyanza District, after he attempted to give an officer Rwf10,000 to have his motorcycle released.
In Kinigi Sector, Musanze District, one Jean d’Amour Nshimiyimana, was also arrested after he attempted to offer Rwf30,000 to an officer to have his motorcycle released. The motorcycle had been impounded for lack of proper documents. They are currently held at Busasamana and Kinigi Police stations respectively.
Northern Province Spokesperson Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) André Hakizima, cautioned motorcyclists and the public against bribery, which he said, is intended to undermine the integrity of officers.
“Rwanda National Police (RNP) exercises zero-tolerance to corruption and it is important for the public to know that bribery is illegal and can lead to serious consequences,” he said.
“We have intensified the crackdown on bribery in order to curb traffic accidents caused by reckless road users who think they can bribe their way out once caught. We remain committed and vigilant against traffic offences,” he said.
In order to enforce its integrity and efficiency in operations, RNP has stepped up efforts to stump out bribery in the Force, especially among Traffic Police officers, who are the most targeted by unscrupulous motorists.
Article 641 of the Penal Code stipulates that any person who directly or indirectly offers a gift in order to get an illegal service or refrain from carrying out their duties shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of between five and seven years or a fine of between twice and 10 times the value of what they had offered in bribe, or both.