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Police Arrested Suspected Conman who Impersonated Gov’t Officials

A man suspected of impersonating government officials and conning unsuspecting job-seekers of their money has been arrested.

Jean Damascene Uwimanimpaye, 33, who was paraded before the media on March 16, was arrested recently in Rubavu District in a police operation following complaints filed by victims.

It is said that the suspect, a residents of Rubavu Sector where he was arrested, was posing as both an official from the Ministry of Internal Security and National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).

At the time of his arrest, Police said, Uwimanimpaye had defrauded different people of about Rwf400, 000.

Uwimanimpaye, who admitted committing the offences, told journalists that he solicited the Rwf400, 000 from two unsuspecting people, who were seeking for a job in the Ministry of Internal Security.

“I acquired a masked MTN simcard at Rwf20, 000 from an MTN employee. I could go on several websites looking for lists of people shortlisted for job interviews, their contact and those of the official that signed such documents,” said Uwimanimpaye.

He added that would then use the masked number to call the shortlisted people guising as an official from that institution and demanded to be paid a certain amount of money claiming that he would assist them get the advertised job.

“I have been doing this for two months; on the case of the Ministry of Internal Security, of the four people I called, only two victims sent the money on my mobile money account,” explained Uwimanimpaye.

He claimed he was introduced to the criminal business by his friend he identified as Sadiq Saruhara, also a resident of Rubavu, who is still on the run.

Saruhara is said to be a former employee of MTN, whom Uwimanimpaye alleged that he helped him to acquire the private number he was using to con people.

“I understand and admit all the accusations and pledge to cooperate with police in investigations,” Uwimanimpaye, who pleaded for leniency, said.

Addressing the press on the issue, Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Celestin Twahirwa urged the public not fall prey of such conmen saying that, “there legal and proper ways of getting a job.”

“If you applied for a job and again you pay money to acquire the job illegally, that’s also promoting corruption and aiding criminality..”

The arrest of Uwimanimpaye comes more than a month after police also busted other group of five people, who were also stealing money from unsuspecting people’s mobile banking accounts.

“We have all the means to arrest these fraudsters but the public should always share with us tangible and concrete information and in the quickest time possible.

We request telecommunication companies to also devise a way of tightening means of acquiring a sim card beyond just registration and also switch off such suspected sim cards and verify if they are rightfully owned.”

Under article 318 “any person who, intentionally obtains a property belonging to another person fraudulently or by using false names or qualities, to give rise to hope or fear of harm and obtains a part or whole of a fortune shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of three to five years and a fine of up to Rwf5 million.”

By Robert Muriisa, RNP.

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