Police in Nyamasheke District is holding the former manager of Cotega, a cooperative of tea farmers, in connection with embezzling about Rwf 30 million.
Damien N. was arrested following an investigation requested by the current management and members.
Cotega cooperative has close to 3400 tea farmers.
Chief inspector of police Théobald Kanamugire, spokesman for the Western region, said that concerned members of the cooperative filed the case of “gross abuse of office by some current and former cooperative leaders.”
“During investigations we found that N., while he was still the manager of the Cotega, used Rwf 30 million of the cooperative to buy a pick-up truck. He was arrested and the vehicle impounded pending further investigations,” he added.
“Members of the cooperative claimed that the vehicle was purchased without their consent as is the norm, and that N. was using it for personal business. Preliminary investigations also indicate that the few people who knew about this, had agreed with Ndababonye that he would pay Rwf 150,000 every month until he repaid the whole amount,” Kanamugire added.
Investigations also indicate that N. would only refund the money he took, without interest.
“We are still investigating the involvement of other members in this case or if more money was embezzled before the case is sent to the prosecution,” Kanamugire noted.
Embezzlement can be punished with 7 to 10 years in prison and a fine of two to five times the value of the embezzled property.