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Man Arrested Over Spreading Rumors About Traffic Fines

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Two people have been arrested in the City of Kigali in connection with separate crimes related to publication of rumors and hiding plate numbers to avoid being detected and penalized by speed enforcement cameras when in violation of traffic rules and regulations.

One of them is a driver said to be the brain behind the message, which has been circulating on various social media platforms claiming that he committed a traffic offence attracting a fine of Rwf 10,000 and that he was instead fined Rwf 150,000.

The spokesperson for Traffic and Road Safety department, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rene Irere, said that the driver in question altered the message to spread rumors.

“This driver received a message specifying a traffic offence he had committed and a fine of Frw10,000. Instead, he got the same message, edited it and added 5 to make it Frw150,000, and started circulating the same altered message on social media platforms, to make it look like he was unfairly penalized,” said SSP Irere.

This, he added, is an act of publishing rumors, which is punishable by law.

Under article 39 of law No. 60/2018 on prevention and punishment of cyber crimes; any person, who knowingly and through a computer or a computer system, publishes rumors, that may incite fear, insurrection or violence amongst the population or make a person lose their credibility, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he or she faces an imprisonment of not less that three years but not more than five years, and a fine of between Frw1 million and Frw3 million.

Meanwhile, the second suspect is a taxi-moto operator, who had devised means to use a wire to flip number plates in an attempt to beat speed enforcement cameras everytime he is violating traffic rules and regulations.

SSP Irere warned against these criminal tendencies and advised motorists to observe traffic rules and regulations for their safety and of other road users.