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Rwandan refugee living in Iowa suspected of crimes against humanity; faces jail here

This news story was published on January 25, 2016.
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Federal courthouse, Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids

Federal courthouse, Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS – A man living in Iowa is accused of lying to authorities to get United States citizenship as he is accused of crimes against humanity back in the African nation of Rwanda.

After a detention hearing held last week, Ken Ngombwa, age 56 from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was ordered detained pending sentencing.

The Indictment against Ngombwa alleged that beginning in at least March 1998 and continuing through at least November 19, 2004, Ngombwa attempted to procure citizenship for himself and family members who accompanied him to the United States from Rwanda. According to the Indictment, Ngombwa and others made a number of false statements that were relied upon by United States immigration authorities in deciding to grant Ngombwa refugee status and permanent resident alien status; which eventually permitted Ngombwa to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. The alleged false statements included a claim that Ngombwa is the brother of Faustin Twagiramungu, a former Prime Minister of Rwanda.

Earlier this month, Ngombwa was convicted of one count of unlawfully procuring or attempting to procure naturalization or citizenship; one count of procuring citizenship to which he was not entitled; one count of conspiracy to unlawfully procure citizenship; and one count of making a materially false statement to agents of the Department of Homeland Security. The evidence at trial showed Ngombwa knowingly made several material false statements to procure entry into the United States as a refugee from Rwanda in 1998. Notably, Ngombwa falsely claimed to be the brother of a former Prime Minister of Rwanda, who now lives in exile.

Evidence presented at the detention hearing revealed that Ngombwa is currently under indictment in Rwanda for allegedly committing crimes against humanity before he fled the country in 1994. Evidence also showed that he would face sentences of 30 years’ imprisonment and life imprisonment on other prior judgments in Rwanda. Following the presentation of evidence at the detention hearing, Chief United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade found that Ngombwa had not shown by clear and convincing evidence that he was not a risk of flight. Accordingly, Chief Judge Reade ordered Ngombwa be detained.

The case was originally referred to the Department of Homeland Security in 2011 by the Prosecutor General of Rwanda. A sentencing date will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Ngombwa will remain in the custody of the United States Marshals Service until sentencing. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, $400 in special assessments, and 12 years of supervised release following any imprisonment. Ngombwa also faces loss of his citizenship in the United States.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Richard L. Murphy and Ravi T. Narayan, and was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.

Ken Ngombwa

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6 Responses to Rwandan refugee living in Iowa suspected of crimes against humanity; faces jail here

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 26, 2016 at 9:15 am

    The government will Vette these people – more than one plane load of passengers from Mexico has landed in JFK airport -never checked thru customs or TSA – You betcha we will vette them like obammy riding around in Seinfields 63 split window vette. All smoke and mirrors as was published about this person before the 2008 election – Big money and corruption talks and little people walk – to the welfare office.

  2. John Reply Report comment

    January 25, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Ship his ass back to Africa, we don’t need to pay for his ass. He is not going to pay his fine and we pay for prison? Really? Time to start thinking like Trump and use some common sense.

    This goes back to 1998 and we are supposed to let thousands of people into this country from Syria that we have no way of doing a background check on? The only Syrians that want to come to the US are the ones that want to kill us.Most that have been talked to would rather stay in their own country.

  3. Allen Reply Report comment

    January 25, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    These are the kind of people that our government wants to let into this country, good, hard working, intelligent people. Send him back to Rwanda so he can do his 30 years there, There’s really no reason to fine him, he’s not going to pay it anyway.

  4. Katie Reply Report comment

    January 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    This is why we can’t trust anyone to vet hundreds of thousands of Syrian immigrants coming into our country!

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 25, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Ship their sorry azzes back to africa – why in the hell should american taxpayers ever have to pay for his 30 year prison sentence – better question – how did he ever get to the US ????

    • John Reply Report comment

      January 25, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      How did he get here? He lied and we let him in. (Tight security here in the USA.) The same thing will happen with the Syrian people. We need to stand up and stop it. Trump is not off base.