Police summon speaker over illicit waragi business

Police confirmed that a security team impounded 35 jerrycans of illicit waragi and that the suspect had been summoned to record a statement.

Jerrycans full of illicit waragi that was impounded from the home of the district speaker. URN_Photo

NAKAPIRIPIRIT, UGANDA: Richard Lochoro, the district speaker and LC V councillor of Namalu Sub County in Nakapiripirit district is in trouble following the recovery of 35 jerry cans of crude waragi from his residence.

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

Michael Longole, the Mt. Moroto Regional Police Spokesperson, confirmed that a security team impounded 35 jerrycans of illicit waragi and that the suspect had been summoned to record a statement.

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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.

He called on the public to remain vigilant and report any instances of illicit waragi to the police to help reduce criminality in society.

Gabriel Loduk, an elder in Lolachat trading center, 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 center, and even some security officers purchase it for personal consumption. Loduk alleged that the police 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.

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Subsequently, a district councilor, 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 fourteen jerry cans of the impounded illicit gin from the exhibit storage room.

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