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January 29, 2023

A 16-year-old girl’s affliction after an encounter with scammers

Debora Ishimwe was leading a normal life, just like any other young girl; attending school, handling home chores, spending time and playing with mates.

Little did she know that at her tender age of sixteen, she was going to encounter an awful event that would suddenly turn her world upside down.

One day when she was home, her mother’s phone rang and a strange voice on the end of the line instructed her to ‘kindly resend money that was mistakenly sent on that number.’

With her naivety as a child, and without inquiring from anyone, she went straight to the nearest mobile money agent and did what she was told.

After sending the money, the agent came to realise that there was no money was sent to her mother’s account and instead the message received was a forwarded one.

The agent was furious and called Rwanda Investigation Bureau. She had acted so fast without first inquiring for details. She accused Ishimwe of being an accomplice to the scammers and she was taken to a detention centre in Rusororo and later sent to be prosecuted in a minor’s chamber.

Everything happened so fast, and when Ishimwe’s mother got wind of the bad news, she claimed to Haguruka’s paralegal in a community forum, explaining to them what had happened and hence was seeking legal support to have her child free.

True to Haguruka’s capacity and obligations, the child was offered free legal services. She was assigned to a lawyer who assisted her in court and the entire process.

Ishimwe was found innocent and released after two weeks in a detention centre.

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