Two vehicles stolen from Kenya and passed through Rwanda en route to DR Congo have been recovered and handed to Kenyan Police.
Rwanda National Police, together with Interpol, handed over the vehicles on Monday at the Police headquarters in Kacyiru, Kigali.
The vehicles, a Land Rover and Land Cruiser VXL valued at $69,000 (about Rwf 47m) and $63,000 (about Rwf 43m), respectively, were intercepted in Rusizi District, Western Province on Saturday on transit to Congo.
Addressing journalists at the police headquarters, Police spokesperson ACP Damas Gatare, said they had been tipped by their Kenyan counterparts earlier this month that the vehicles would be passed through the country.
“We received information from the Kenyan Police through Interpol on June 1 about the possibility of these vehicles being transported through Rwanda to the DR Congo. They have been missing for one month from Kenya and the thieves had even changed the number plates with one bearing a Congolese plate and another a Burundian plate,” Gatare said.
Kenyan police was alerted about the whereabouts of the cars after arresting the alleged thieves, Ezekiel Rotich and David Amburi Mutoga in Kenya.
Kenyan police officers, Detective Emmanuel Ngetich and Investigator Moses Gituathi were in Kigali to receive the recovered vehicles which will be taken back to Kenya and handed over to their rightful owners.
“We are grateful to the Rwandan police. If we continue working together, we shall reduce cross border crimes,” Ngetich said.
Gatare urged people to be vigilant when purchasing cars.
“Any person purchasing a car should always ensure it has all the paperwork. The people who had bought these cars will have to seek justice in the Kenyan courts,” Gatare said.
He, however, said cross-border crimes are not common in Rwanda, although the country can be used as a transit route to other countries.
“In Rwanda, such a crime carries a penalty of between seven and 10 years in prison and life imprisonment in case there was death involved.