Policehas handed over a stolen Toyota Hilux pickup truck recovered in Rwanda, to Ugandan authorities as part of joint cross-border efforts against crime.
The vehicle was handed over yesterday by the RNP Commissioner for Interpol, ACP Tony Kuramba, to the Liaison Officer at the Uganda High Commission in Rwanda, Patrick Lawot.
Speaking to jounalists shortly after the handover, Police Spokesperson, Chief Supt. Celestin Twahirwa, said the vehicle was intercepted at the Rubavu border on January 28 trying to cross over to DR Congo, from Uganda where it had been stolen.
“Officers at the border discovered that the chassis number of the vehicle did not match what the driver had indicated on documents.
“When tasked to explain the mismatch he claimed that he could find proper documents back in Uganda,” CSP Twahirwa said.
“They decided to impound the vehicle and let him go back to Uganda for documents, but it was later established that it had been stolen and registered in the database of stolen cars.
“We contacted our Ugandan counterparts and shared information, which confirmed that the driver was a suspected car smuggler.”
Following investigations in Uganda, the suspect was apprehended.
“This is yet another confirmation of the strong commitment Rwanda National Police has in fighting crimes in and outside its borders,” Lawot said.
“It is not the first time Rwanda and Uganda Police forces have collaborated to solve a crime. This is a sign of good assurance to people in both countries, that there is strong commitment to enforce safety and security of lives, property and businesses,” he added.
Lawot noted that fighting cross-border crimes requires proactive approach, as well as the involvement of citizens through community policing, in order to empower the people in helping police to solve crimes.
Two other vehicles which had been stolen from Kenya were also impounded in Rwanda and handed back to Kenyan authorities in February.
RNP, last month, again handed over to Kenyan authorities a smuggled Toyota Land Cruiser, worth $44, 000 (Rwf30 million), which was intercepted as it crossed to Rwanda from for DR Congo. The vehicle had allegedly been sold.
Early this month, RNP impounded a Fuso truck with a Burundian number plate, suspected to have been smuggled from Japan and sold in Burundi.
The interceptions are enabled by Interpol’s I-24/7 tool which Rwanda installed at all its border posts and enables officers to detect movement of any item that is smuggled or stolen between borders.