The Rwanda National Police (RNP) has described the Interpol country team as a success with regard to tracking down stolen vehicles in the region.
The force’s Spokesperson, Supt. Eric Kayiranga, said yesterday that six foreign vehicles have so far been recovered in the country since the beginning of the year, three of them Kenyan registered while two were stolen from Tanzania.
Interpol opened its Rwanda office in 1974 with a mission to handle trans-border crimes.
“As regards efforts made to fight vehicle theft in the region, we acknowledge that a number of vehicles stolen from neighbouring countries have been returned to their owners in their respective countries,” Kayiranga noted.
He attributed the success to the good cooperation between member states in the region.
Kayiranga said that a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week Interpol system (I-24/7) now in operation, is another system through which information regarding criminal activities is shared “and this eases our day-to-day activities.”
All the recovered vehicles were impounded en route to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kayiranga said that Interpol used to face the challenge of lack of awareness among the public with regard to Interpol’s activities; but the trend was overturned with the introduction of community policing.
“We now note an increased awareness among the public about the problem of trans-border theft to the extent that we are now able to get useful information on those involved in crime”.
He however added that there is still lack of timely feedback of information from the public on trans-border crimes which delays effective response to such acts.
He however said plans are underway to extend I-24/7 to all the country’s gateways, Rwanda Revenue Authority and immigration offices.
“There is no doubt that once this is achieved, stolen vehicles will be tracked before they can be smuggled to other countries.”