Rwanda: Police Arrest Five Over Alleged Motorcycle Theft

Rwanda National Police (RNP) have arrested five people said to be belonging to the same racket suspected to be behind a series of violent motorcycle thefts in the City of Kigali.

They were shown to the media on Wednesday, July 21, at the Police metropolitan headquarters in Remera, Gasabo District.

The ring include the trio of Claude Dusabimana alias Eric, 25, Alphonse Biziyaremye also known as Micheal, 37, and Jean Claude Rusigariye guising as Tuyizere; whose role was to identify and to steal motorcycles.

Others include Jean Claude Bitondeyiki, a broker, who was charged with searching for buyers, and Oscar Hagenimana, one of those who were buying stolen motorcycles.

One of the thieves, Alphonse Biziyaremye, a resident of Kanyinya Sector, Nyarugenge District, narrated that they would lure a taxi-moto operator to an ambush, assault him before disappearing with the motorcycle.

The theft operation, he added, would be executed either late in the evening or in the wee morning hours.

"We had different roles; Tuyizere Rusigariye was responsible for identifying luring the taxi-moto operator from Amashyirahamwe house in Nyabugogo to an ambush near Metafoam factory in Kigali Sector Nyarugenge District. Me and Dusabimana, would mount the ambush," Biziyaremye explained.

He added that as soon as the motorcylist stopped at the agreed spot, Tuyizere would hit him on the head with an object. Biziyaremye and Dusabimana would also jump out of the bush to help him in the assault before disappearing with the motorcycle leaving the victim unconcious.

This was also corroborated by Dusabimana, who added that after hitting the motorcyclist with an object and falling down, he would be shielded by Biziyaremye and Dusabimana to grab the moto and ride away.

According to Hagenimana, a motorcycle mechanic, he bought three motos from the trio. He added that they were connected to him by Bitondeyiki.

"I bought the first one from them for Frw270, 000, the second one at Frw280, 000 and paid them Frw290, 000 for the third moto. I was disassembling all the motorcycles, sell spare parts or use them to fix other motorcycles," said Hagenimana.

The suspects were handed over to RIB for further investigations and legal process.

One of the victims identified as Jean Pierre Sayinzoga, a resident of Mageragere Sector in Nyarugenge District, narrated the ordeal.

"On May 29, I picked a passenger (Tuyizere) at Amashyirahamwe house in Nyabugogo, who told me that he was going to a place near Metafoam factory. As we approached the factory about 100 metres away, he told me to stop and at that moment he grabbed me and tried to strangle me," Sayinzoga narrated.

"Two other people appeared from the bush and also started assaulting me targeting mainly the upper part of the body until I was unconcious and they left, probably thinking that I was dead."

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said that this was a two-month operation to identify and arrest people behind the series of violent motorcycle theft in Kigali.

"There has been several cases of motorcycle theft in Kigali as reported by victims. In response to these series of theft, Police arrested these five suspects, who were playing different roles, and recovered three out of the five motorcycles that were stolen through the same scenario," CP Kabera said

He warned people, who think that Rwanda National Police is much taken by the current Covid-19 period and enforcement of the directives, and perceive this as an opportunity to commit crimes.

"Police enforces all laws and directives; if you think that there is a window for you to implement your evil plans, think twice and think wisely," CP Kabera warned.

Real time information sharing on the theft or crime, he added, facilitates early response and timely successful operations.

Theft under article 166 of the law determining offences and penalties in general, attracts an imprisonment of between one and two years and a fine of not less than Frw1 million but not more than Frw2 million, a community service of six months or one of these penalties.

However, in article 167, the penalty doubles if the crime was committed at night or by more than one person.

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