Rwanda National Police (RNP) has urged the general public, especially the business community, to desist from issuing bouncing cheques.
Police statistics indicate that in 2014, recorded cases involving bouncing cheques totaled 343.
In an interview with Senior Superintendent Eric Kanyabuganza, the RNP Director of the Directorate of Economic and Financial Crimes Unit, he disclosed that due to ignorance of the law, some people commit the offense without understanding the repercussions,, and he warned those in the habit to change their ways.
“Some people are ignorant of the law and they do not know that they can get prosecuted when a case is filed against them for providing a bouncing cheque. Such habits should stop because they disrupt economic activities,” he said.
“Those who seek to apply for public tenders should be ready financially rather than borrowing goods and merchandise and then issuing post dated cheques to their colleagues well knowing that they will bounce.”
He added that: “The long-standing practice of borrowers issuing bouncing cheques to lenders as guarantee of payment is one of the reasons people end up with wrangles - and Police is calling upon the business community to be more proactive in kicking this habit out.”
He added that cheques should be used to fulfill monetary transactions and not as a guarantee that a certain amount will be paid.
“There are those in the habit of lending money to others in some sham business locally known as ‘Bank Lambert’ (loan sharks). This makes them accumulate cheques from borrowers, which in most cases bounce when taken to the bank. This practice must also be eliminated,” he said.
“Those who feel aggrieved by a bouncing cheque can register a complaint at a police station against the debtor who issued it. We must together protect the integrity of our economy against such acts.
Issuance of a bouncing cheque is punishable under article 373 of the Rwandan penal code with a jail sentence of two to five years.