KANYARU - Nyarugenge district police are holding a Zimbabwean national, a suspected international conman, who was caught Monday trying to escape the country through the Kanyaru border post.
Benjamin Mwadiwa is alleged to have swindled local businesses of goods worth over Rwf 11 million.
Mwadiwa who claims to hold a doctorate in biology entered the country on January23 through Katuna border post. He was coming from Uganda where he had spent three days.
He entered Uganda from South Africa where he escaped after swindling South African businesses of millions of Rands, through a fake organization he headed, the Global Youth Union.
According to police spokesman John Uwamungu, the 35-year old conman came into the country claiming to represent an NGO called ‘Priority group’.
“He came into the country claiming that he was a country representative of an NGO called Priority Group which has its headquarters in South Africa, “ said the police spokesman. Upon arrival Mwadiwa rented the fifth floor at Centenary House in Kigali town, where he established his offices.
Mwadiwa then sourced for office furniture from businesses around town assuring them that he would pay them later.
According to the spokesman, Mwadiwa took merchandise from companies that include MOL Rwanda, Simba Super Market, and RD technology for office use.
The conman was booked at hotel L’Auberge in Nyamirambo and used to have his meals in Karisimbi restaurant which he consumed without paying.
“After accumulating goods worth 11 million, he decided to escape to Tanzania. Unfortunately his visa had expired and this led to him being caught,” Uwamungu explained.
He added that, the immigration officers were alerted by the fact that Mwadiwa immediately disappeared after asking for his passport back when they had informed him that his visa had expired.
It is said that after escaping from the immigration officers, Mwadiwa boarded a motor cycle abandoning the vehicle he had rented from Kigali.
He wanted to cross into Tanzania by short cut. The Police immediately mounted a search and found him hiding in nearby bushes.
One of the victims who preferred anonymity told The New Times, that Mwadiwa had been taking goods from their business premises for some time without paying.
“We trusted him because he had shown us what looked to be otherwise genuine papers. We gave him whatever he wanted,” lamented the victim. The goods included six laptops, seven mobile phones, bottles of expensive wine, as well children and women’s wear.
“I was going to Tanzania so that I can be able to send these goods to Zimbabwe by bus. But I was going to come back,” said Mwadiwa who seemed very frightened.
According to the police, if Mwadiwa is found guilty of impersonation and trickery, he could face up to five years in prison.