25 January 2013

Rwanda: Accountant Held Over Lost Mutuelle Funds

RUHANGO — Police in Ruhango have arrested a Health centre official who allegedly embezzled over Rwf18m meant for community health insurance, commonly known as Mutuelle de Santé.

The 30-year-old suspect (name withheld) who was an accountant attached to the Community Health Insurance scheme at Karambi Health centre, Kabagali sector, is currently detained at Nyamagana Police station.

Police said the case came to light as a team of district auditors was carrying out a financial audit at the health facility.

The money is alleged to have been misappropriated during the last two years, sources said. The suspect was arrested on Monday, Police said.

Southern Region Police Spokesperson Supt. Hubert Gashagaza told The New Times that embezzlement cannot be tolerated.

"We cannot allow those individuals to derail the nation's quest for development," Supt Gashagaza warned, before vowing "zero-tolerance to people who engage in corruption or embezzle public funds".

Article 325 of the penal code stipulates that any employee who embezzles public or private property, funds, negotiable instruments, documents, or movable property which are entrusted to them, by virtue of their office shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of seven to ten years and a fine of two to five times the value of the embezzled or destroyed property.

Meanwhile, police in Muhanga district is holding a 47-year-old resident of Gasharu cell in Rongi sector over counterfeit currency. The suspect was reportedly arrested while trying to use a Rwf 5,000 fake note to pay for drinks in a local bar.

After the arrest, the man was found with 19 other Rfw5,000 fake notes amounting to Rwf 95,000. If found guilty the suspect faces between two to five years of imprisonment and a fine of two to ten times the value of the counterfeit money, according to article 604 of the penal code.

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