Rwanda Investigation Bureau has confirmed that two men, Leon Nisunzumuremyi and Aristide Karorero, were arrested on suspicion of altering the ages of two young players in order to get them admitted to FC Bayern Munich Academy Rwanda.
The suspects are detained at the Kimironko RIB station.
Cedric Iranzi and Joshua Muberwa were among 43 young football players, who were handpicked for Bayern Munich Academy Rwanda on September 16.
However, they were later dismissed along with the other 18 due to age fixing, with allegations that they had lied about their true age.
After being dismissed from Bayern Munich Academy, Iranzi went on local radio (FINE FM) to voice the injustice he had received from the Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA), which became a much-discussed topic in Rwandan media as the public hit out at FERWAFA for what they claimed to be unfair practices in the selection of football prospects to be admitted to Bayern Academy Rwanda.
After a thorough probe, RIB indicated that Iranzi and Muberwa were found to be disqualified due to exceeding the maximum required ages to be admitted to the academy.
Iranzi and Muberwa were born in 2009 and 2007, respectively, which opposed the documents they had submitted before their trial which show that they were both born in 2011.
RIB Spokesperson Thierry Murangira pointed out that the investigation figured out that Nisunzumuremyi, the coach of Iranzi and Muberwa, and Karorero, the Kinyinya Sector Data Manager, worked together to fake the two young players’ age by providing them with the documents proving they were born in 2011, so they could be eligible to be accepted into Bayern Munich Academy Rwanda.
Karorero is accused of receiving Rwf35,000 bribe to change Iranzi and Muberwa’s identification documents.
Murangira further said that Iranzi’s father Bosco Munyansanga is also being investigated for possible involvement in that bribery, though he is yet to be arrested.
Nisunzumuremyi is alleged to have asked FINE FM Sports Presenter Jado Dukuze to spread the story about the two young players’ unfair treatment by FERWAFA to pile up pressure on FERWAFA and the Ministry of Sports to reconsider their decision to dismiss them.
According to the 2018 Rwanda law relating to accepting or offering bribes, any person who 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 seven years with a fine of three to five times the value of the illegal benefit solicited received.
Nisunzumuremyi and Karorero are also under investigation on suspicion of forging documents. If they are found guilty of forgery or altering documents. They might be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years but not more than seven years and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties.
If the two also be convicted of unauthorized modification of computer system data, they might be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than a year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than one Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf3 million.
Murangira also issued a warning to people who engage in fraud, forgery and other forms of cheating, particularly in sports. He urged journalists to always consider fact-checking and get information from the organizations concerned with the matter before reporting their story.