A man going by the name of Thierry Rugamba reportedly immigrated to the United States in 2000, as a victim of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He settled in Bolingbrook, Illinois, where he worked at an African grocery.
But all was not as it seemed with Thierry Rugamba, according to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. In 2004, he was identified by six witnesses as Jean-Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka, a supposed perpetrator of the atrocities he said he was fleeing. Mudahinyuka has long been wanted in Kigali, Rwanda on charges of genocide and war crimes. One Illinois witness notified authorities after recognizing the man as someone who committed murder and rape in Rwanda.
He was arrested at his house in Romeoville, Ill., where he allegedly assaulted a Homeland Security agent and attempted to seize his weapon, according to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
After serving 51 months in prison for immigration fraud and assaulting a customs officer, Mudahinyuka was transferred to ICE custody to be deported. He appealed the deportation all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied his appeal on November 4 of last year.
Last Friday, the American phase of the Mudahinyuka ordeal ended, as the 50-year-old Rwandan returned to his home country to face charges of genocide and war crimes. The ICE handed him over to Rwandan police in Kigali on the 28th.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Juliet Sorensen told WBEZ that it was difficult to actually prove that the so-called Thierry Rugamba was actually not who he claimed to be. "We were looking for witnesses and identification documents from a country that had been decimated by the genocide," she said.
The Homeland Security Investigations office in Chicago has a so-called "No Safe Haven" mailbox where members of the public can report suspected human rights violators living in the States. Citizens can email email@example.com, or call 1-866-DHS-2ICE.
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