Rwanda National Police (RNP) has recovered over 560kgs of assorted metallic equipment stolen from utility companies in Kigali, and arrested four people in connection with the act.
The metals valued in millions, which include tower angles, u-bend and plumbing materials were recovered on Tuesday, April 12, in Kabagendwa Village, Kamashashi Cell, Nyarugunga Sector in Kicukiro District.
The tower angles and u-bend used to construct towers valued at over Frw11.5 million, were stolen from Only Infra- Construction and Trading Company Rwanda Limited (OIT), a Korean firm constructing communication towers in Rwanda.
Plumbing materials also valued in millions, were stolen from a shop in Zindiro.
Those arrested include a security guard at Only Infra- Construction and Trading Company, who was guarding the store in Nyarugunga where the tower construction materials were stolen.
Also arrested is a dealer in scraps, who was buying the stolen metallic materials, and his other two suppliers, who were conniving with the security guard to break into stores to steal the equipment.
Denis Ndemezo, the managing director of Guardsmark Security Company, a private security service provider, which was guarding the stores of the Korean tower construction company, said that they worked with the Police to identify one of their guards, who was behind the burglaries.
“Our client (Korean company) informed us about the alleged theft and we found that 1050 pieces of u-bend, 10 pieces of tower angles and nine tyre winders had been stolen,” Ndemezo said.
He added: “When we cross-checked our handover-takeover books between our day and night guards, we noticed a mismatch. We informed the Police and gave them identities of some of our guards we suspected. We thank the Police for recovering these materials and arresting all those connected to the theft,” Ndemezo said.
RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said that during the operation to recover the materials stolen from the communication tower construction company, Police also found two sacks of plumbing materials in the same house, which were reported stolen in the past.
“It is unfortunate that someone, who is supposed to secure the facility is the one stealing from them. This should also be a lesson to private security service providers to do background checks of their employees and efficient supervision,” CP Kabera said.
Article 166 of law determining offences and penalties in general states that; any person convicted of theft is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one (1) year and not more than two (2) years and a fine of not less than Frw1 million and not more than Frw2 million, community service in a period of six (6) months or only one of these penalties.
In article 167, the penalty for theft doubles if the offender committed the crime through burglary, climbing or possession of keys other than the owner; the theft is carried out during the night or the theft is carried out by more than one (1) person.