Rwanda National Police (RNP) has after six months of investigation managed to arrest six persons in connection with fraudulent issuance of driver’s license.
The suspects include four Police officers who are attached to the department of Testing and Licensing and two driving school instructors who were acting as brokers in Kigali city
All the suspects were on January 6, 2023 paraded to the media at Kigali metropolitan headquarters in Remera.
The arrest comes less than a month after RNP insisted on its commitment to fight bribery in the force following a 2022 Rwanda Bribery Index (RBI) report published by Transparency International Rwanda (TI-R) showing the traffic police in the lead services where bribery is evident.
The TI-R showed the traffic police and utilities services are among the top services where bribery is still common despite the ‘zero tolerance’ to corruption efforts.
The report showed the Traffic Police department scored 16.4% on bribery incidences, the Local Government 10.6%, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) 10.4%, the Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC Ltd) 10.2% bribery encounters (corruption) based on the services they deliver and direct encounter with the population needing the services.
Subsequently, last December, RNP announced plans to sack about 500 police officers including those incriminated in cases of taking bribes and various crimes, including drunkenness, corruption.
Commenting on the arrests, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, the RNP spokesperson, said that investigations have so far identified eight people that the group helped to acquire a driver’s license after paying them varying amounts of money and without doing the compulsory driving tests.
“Thorough investigations that started in June last year, found out that some driving school instructors were working with some Police officers to facilitate their students to acquire either provisional or definitive driver’s license.
Those seeking a driver’s license would pay a certain amount of money to the Police officers through their instructors,” CP Kabera said.
He warned the public against”criminal shortcuts” adding that investigations are still underway to arrest any member of the same group as well as those, who offered bribes to acquire a driver’s license.
CP Kabera further cautioned driving schools against such malpractices.
“Driving schools are supposed to facilitate their students to learn and understand traffic rules and regulations, and to be professional drivers.
Equally, Police officers are supposed to ensure that those seeking a driver’s license have passed the tests without any favour or exceptions. Contrary to that, you will be arrested to face the law, including those giving bribes for an illegal service,” CP Kabera warned.
Article 4 of the law N° 54/2018 of 13/08/2018 on fighting against corruption states that any person who offers, solicits, accepts or receives, by any means, an illegal benefit for himself/ herself or another person or accepts a promise in order to render or omit a service under his or her mandate or uses his or her position to render or omit a service, commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of more than five years but not more than even years with a fine of three to five times the value of the illegal benefit offered, solicited or received.
Under article 276 of the law determining offences and penalties in general, any person, who, with fraudulent intention, produces a false written document, causes to write false statements, or produces a conflicting declaration, is considered to a commit the offence of forgery.
Upon conviction, he or she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than fives years but not more than seven years and a fine of between Rwf3 million and Rwf5 million, or one of these penalties.