Couple arrested in fake mineral sting

KIGALI - Police in Remera is also holding three people, including a couple, for allegedly trying to con a locally based American (name withheld) of US$90,000 by trying to sell him fake titanium.
Gakeri with his wife (centre) and their employee at Remera police station yesterday. (Photo. B. Asiimwe)
Gakeri with his wife (centre) and their employee at Remera police station yesterday. (Photo. B. Asiimwe)

KIGALI - Police in Remera is also holding three people, including a couple, for allegedly trying to con a locally based American (name withheld) of US$90,000 by trying to sell him fake titanium.

Innocent Gakeri, 41, and his wife, Grace Nyirahabimana, 34, and their employee, Souvenir Alphonsine 28, of Ndera, Gasabo District, were arrested on Thursday in Kimironko suburb where they had gone to meet their ‘client’.

According to police officers handling the case, the trio got the American’s contacts from unknown sources and had been calling him for the past one week proposing to sell him their product.

“He did not know who these people were and how they got his contacts. They continued calling him despite telling them that he was not interested in the mineral and he reported the case to police for help,” an officer who declined to be named said.

However, Gakeri who said that he has a mineral trading permit, told The New Times that he also bought the titanium from his fellow businessman in DR Congo at US$8,000 and he was not aware if it was fake.

But Souvenir said that she was just following his employer’s orders to sell the ‘mineral’ which she thought was real.

Nyirahabimana claimed at the time of the arrest, that she had just brought the mineral from their home after her husband called and instructed her to bring it to Kimironko where they had a prospective buyer. The two have three children, But the American who had proposed to meet them at Hotel Laico Umubano but they refused, showed up with police at the site of their own choice where they were arrested.

In a related development, police in Gisozi Sector, also in Gasabo District, Thursday night, arrested 56 people and confiscated thousands of litres of illegal brew in a crackdown on criminals in the area.

Those arrested include prostitutes, owners of bars that sell illicit liquor and idlers who are said to be behind the theft in the area. Some of those arrested were found without identification.

Eleven of those arrested were found with 4,000 litres of illicit liquor, locally known as Kanyanga and other local brew, which were impounded during the operation conducted in conjunction with the area local defence personnel and authorities.

Supt. Dismas Rutaganira, the District Police Commander, said that the operation is still ongoing and will be extended to all parts of the district.

“These are some of the causes of theft, fighting, rape and defilement in the District,” Rutaganira said.

He called on the residents to cooperate with the force by providing information on criminal activities and those behind them.

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