Rulindo: Another SACCO cashier arrested over embezzlement

A cashier at SACCO (savings and credit cooperative) branch in Base Sector of Rulindo District has been arrested in connection with embezzlement of over Rwf1 million. In this same district, unknown people attacked the SACCO branch in Burega sector; September last year. They killed the guard, and stole 5million Rwfs.

Jean Claude Habaguhirwa was arrested on Tuesday Feb 14th following an ongoing audit that discovered alterations in financial records. The arrest was also executed after an audit by the central bank. On the first day of inspection, they noticed some money missing without reason; all indicators led to the manager and the cashier as people implicated in the loss.

Police spokesperson for the Northern Region, Inspector of Police (IP) Innocent Gasasira said that upon receiving the complaint, the cashier who was the prime suspect, was taken into custody as the audit and investigations proceed.

“The final audit report will shape our investigations and detailed case file on the exact amount missing and probably other people that could be involved,” IP Gasasira said.

A managerial wave in SACCOs

Last month, Police in Nyagatare District also arrested two people including a manager of SACCO. He is suspected of connection with theft of over 4 million Rwfs from coffers of Matimba SACCO branch.

The same period, the whole staff of Ngoma SACCO in Huye district, after the theft of 2,3 million Rwfs with 3 laptops. The coup was following one of 2013, when robbers attacked this SACCO branch, killed the guard and 10 million Rwfs were stolen.

Not later, SACCO Byimana in Ruhango was attacked by 3 unidentified men and security services shot one to death. The dead was suspected of stealing money, and he had a machete. Trying to fight the security men, he was shot dead. The incident however, came after the central bank warned the staff to resign due to mismanagement.

Mid-last year, the same institution -Police- arrested 4 members of staff in Gitovu SACCO, Burera district. They include the Manager, cashier, loan officer and the accountant. The team has embezzled 37 million Rwfs, by taking loans under members’ accounts, and without them to know.In July 2014, the Musambira Police station was keeping 3 members of staff from Nyarubaka SACCO branch over similar cases.

The central bank and BDF observed this in Ndera SACCO, and Police arrested workers, while some fled to unknown place. In Jabana, members have been claiming over sudden locking of SACCO, etc.

IP Gasasira went on to say that mismanagement of public funds is an offence punishable and that “no one is above the law.”

Embezzlement of public or private funds is punishable under article 325 of the penal code with, attracting a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a fine of two to five times the value of the embezzled or destroyed property.

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Jean Baptiste Karegeya

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