News of Rwanda (Kigali)

15 August 2012

Rwanda: Phone Tapping to Reduce Social Crimes - Police

Photo: http://www.ericsson.com/
The law designates the army, police and intelligence services as only state organs allowed to tap into private communications upon authorization from a prosecutor through an interception warrant.

Following passing the bill authorizing the tapping of telephones and other private communications by parliament, Rwanda national police says that it is going to help curb down social crimes.

The law designates the army, police and intelligence services as only state organs allowed to tap into private communications upon authorization from a prosecutor through an interception warrant.

Police says that Rwanda being a country affected by Human Trafficking of persons especially targeting women and children, the law will help in one way or the other in curbing the exploitation of girls in domestic servitude.

According to statistics, five cases of human trafficking were registered since the beginning of this year, most of them involving foreigners using Rwanda as a transit route.

Among the registered cases, include two Ugandan girls who were intercepted at Kigali International Airport en route to Malaysia and an 18-year old Burundian girl who was also arrested at the border to Rwanda, who was similarly headed to the East Asian country.

This kind of crime and others are facilitated by the use of mobile phones. Statistics of active mobile phone subscribers in June show that five million Rwandans possess mobile phones across the three mobile phone operators namely MTN, TIGO and Airtel Rwanda.

With mobile phone penetration rising to 44.4 percent, it brings in the need for close monitor and report any form of dubious interactive communication which may lead to crimes like kidnapping or human trafficking.

The police say that People also share information easily through other forms such as emails. While other put these kinds of communication tools to good use. Others are exploiting them in dubious activities such as cyber and other organized crimes of which Rwandan penal code classifies as serious crimes.

According to Chief Inspector of Police Ismail Baguma, the Director of Interpol, youth are the most targetable group in such criminal acts.

He said that the Human traffickers are facilitated by the ignorance of the victims and accelerated by the use of technological facilities such as mobile phones and social media.

"I urge parents to enhance their parenting roles and engage in neighborhood watch approach so as to identity and report those suspected of such crimes in the society."

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