The Rwanda National Police has handed over 11 million Ugandan shillings (approximately Rwf4 million) to a Rwandan businessman in Uganda after it was recovered from the suspected thief, who had crossed into Rwanda.
The money was handed over to Milindi Kamili on December 3, by Chief Supt. Peter Karake, the Deputy Commissioner for Interpol and International at the RNP headquarters in Kacyiru.
The money was recovered on November 30 from the suspect identified as Fideli Mateso, also a Rwandan national, after Police officers in Gatsibo District stopped the bus he was traveling in, following information provided by both the victim and Uganda Police Force.
According to Milindi, he took in Mateso four months ago as an employee at his Kilimanjaro lodge in Kampala.
“Mateso came to my lodge and told me that he had lost contacts with people he had come to see and that he didn’t know anyone else in Uganda, has nowhere to go or money to take him back to Rwanda,” Milindi narrated.
“I housed him at my home for three days hoping that maybe he will find the people he had come to see, but after three days of no success, I decided to give him a job especially that he was a fellow Rwandan, young and jobless,” he added.
He went on to narrate that “on November 29, Mateso received a clients, and as a norm, they leave their valuable belongings at the reception for safety purposes, and he (Mateso) searched through the luggage and stole on the sh11 million before taking a bus to Rwanda that same night.”
The alleged theft would be noticed the next morning when the client was checking out of the lodge and Mateso was nowhere to be seen.
Milindi had to dig deep into his pockets to refund the client before rushing to Old Kampala police station where he lodged a case, but was also quick to call Rwanda Police before Uganda police also notified police at all Rwandan borders.
Unfortunately, the bus had already crossed Kagitumba border post but officers there notified their colleagues at Kabarore, where it was stopped and the suspect arrested.
He was found with all the money, although he had exchanged part of the money into Rwandan currency amounting to Rwf425, 000 and Shs6, 588, 000.
“It’s so unfortunate that you can be betrayed by a fellow national you helped in a foreign land. But I want to thank Rwanda National Police for the professionalism and quick response. When I went to Old Kampala to file a case, I also noticed a strong bond between the two police institutions because they assured me that if the suspect escaped to Rwanda, I shouldn’t worry, he will be arrested,” said Milindi
He also had a message for Rwandans residing in other countries to be defined by integrity, dignity and uphold Rwandan values instead of stealing from each other.
Rwanda National Police spokesperson, Chief Supt. Celestin Twahirwa reiterated the need for timely reporting to give way for “early successful response.”
“Rwanda and Uganda enjoy a good relationship in fighting cross-border crimes because we committed ourselves to make it impossible for criminals to have safe haven in our countries. So, we cannot allow any criminal to use Rwanda as either an escape route or destination,” said CSP Twahirwa.
He explained that since the case involves both Rwandans and even money intercepted in Rwanda, it will be tried in Rwandan court.
In January this year, RNP handed over Rwf8 million to a Ugandan businessman part of the money which had been stolen from him in Kabale, Uganda.
Again in June, about Rwf750,000 was returned to a Ugandan businessman, after it was recovered from a suspected thief who had crossed into Rwanda, also through the Kagitumba border post.
Article 300 of the Penal Code stipulates that anyone found guilty of theft without violence or threat shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of six months to two years and a fine of two to five times the value of the stolen property or one of the penalties