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Police summon Nakapiripirit speaker over trading in illicit waragi

Some of the confiscated jerricans

Some of the confiscated jerricans

The speaker of Nakapiripirit district Richard Lochoro has been summoned to explain the 35 jerricans of crude waragi recovered from his residence. 

A joint security team, which was in Namalu mission to observe the Martyrs Day celebration, received intelligence about the presence of the illicit gin at Lochoro’s residence. Lochoro is the LC V councillor of Namalu sub-county.   

Michael Longole, the Mt Moroto Regional Police spokesperson, confirmed that a security team impounded the waragi and that the suspect had been summoned to record a statement.

The confiscated waragi was taken to Nakapiripirit central police station, and investigations have commenced. Longole expressed concern over the difficulties faced by the police in combating the trade of illicit gin. 

"It is unfortunate that some leaders still condone and promote criminality in their areas of jurisdiction instead of helping joint security forces to fight criminality," Longole said.

Gabriel Loduk, an elder in Lolachat trading centre, noted that fighting against waragi was challenging because authorities and enforcers themselves are involved in the business.

He stated that waragi is openly sold in the trading centre, and even some security officers purchase it for personal consumption. Loduk alleged that police officers had previously confiscated waragi from traders and later sold it secretly to the community. 

He also mentioned that several local leaders in the district are involved in waragi deals, which is why they have not enacted by-laws to restrict trade. In December 2022, six waragi traders were arrested for attempting to bribe police officers in Nakapiripirit district after their vehicle transporting illicit waragi was impounded.

Subsequently, a district councillor, whose identity was withheld for security reasons, called the police to accept the bribe and release the truck. Additionally, a police officer from the same police station was remanded for stealing 14 jerricans of the impounded illicit gin from the exhibit storage room.

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