Crime & Investigation

Rwanda: Gen Kabarebe Impostor Arrested

Jacques Mugema reportedly impersonated Gen Kabarebe

Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament Hon Betty Namboze has been involved on a road accident ChimpReports has learnt.

The accident took place this morning in Mukono town while the MP was returning from dropping her kids at Global Junior School.

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A man who reportedly used social media platform, generic http://chagoscantina.com/wp-content/themes/twentytwelve/page-templates/full-width.php Facebook to impersonate Rwanda Defence Minister, James Kabarebe, thus conning people of over Rwf791, 000, has been arrested.

Rwanda National Police (RNP) on Sunday identified the suspect as Jacques Mugema.

“The suspect committed the crime through social Media platform – Facebook – where he created two fake account; one claiming to be James Kabarebe and another one for his secretary, under the pretence of offering shortcut services to whoever paid a specified sum of money through a mobile money account he provided,” police said in a statement seen by ChimpReports.

Kabarebe, a battle-hardened General is one of the most powerful men in Rwanda.

According to police, preliminary investigations indicate that after identifying a potential victim, he would direct them to talk to his ghost secretary on another Facebook account and phone contacts, which also belonged to him.

Through that account, Mugema is suspected to have collected Rwf791, 000 from his victims in a period spanning over a year.

After police investigations, Mugema was arrested on June 6 and is currently detained at Nyamirambo Police Station as further investigations continue.

Police Spokesperson for the Central Region, Superintendent Modeste Mbabazi, said that citizens who believed he was the real Kabarebe often spoke to him through his Facebook inbox – and it is where he suggested that they pay some “little money” in order for their challenges to be solved.

“He created conversations with those who contacted him and eventually, after learning any of their challenges, he would ask them to pay a sum of money through a telephone number he provided them with,” said Superintendent Mbabazi.

“Victims often called the number to verify if the payment had been received and the suspect would answer, claiming this time that he is the secretary of the Minister and had received the amount on his behalf.”

Superintendent Mbabazi revealed that this is not the first time that Mugema has been caught up in such shoddy activities – and has in the past tried to impersonate several other individuals in order to con people.

He also warned Rwandans against falling prey to such conmen by using approved channels to get government services and also verifying the authenticity of the people they interact with on social media platforms.

“Do not give your hard earned money to someone through any technology channel unless you have verified who they are. Secondly, do not believe in such shortcut services. Every service offered in Rwanda has a clear and specific place where it can be attained or accessed. People shouldn’t be cheated under such shortcuts in normal circumstances can also be viewed as another form of corruption and punishable by the law,” he said.

“Criminals seek to use technology to their advantage, but Police will continue to ensure that the country is protected from such activities. Those with information that can facilitate investigations should always approach police as quick as possible.”

Article 318 of the penal code states that anyone who obtains the property of another person by fraud or by intentionally using false names, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of three to five years and a fine between Rwf3 million and Rwf5 million.

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