Six Waragi Traders Arrested for Bribing Police Officers

Six waragi traders are in trouble for attempting to bribe police officers in Nakapiripirit district. The six were arrested on Monday night around the Pian-Upe game reserve while transporting the illegal gin to Namalu Town council.

Joseph Bongo, the Nakapiripirit District Police Commander told URN that the suspects were transporting 450 Jerrican of the illegal gin. He says that while interrogating the suspects, they tried to compromise him with some money to secure the release of their vehicle but he insisted on towing the truck to Nakapiripirit central police station.

Bongo says that on reaching the police station, the suspect identified as Mark Lokwi pleaded with him to accept a bribe of one million Shillings to allow him to take his vehicle in vain. According to Bongo, a woman councilor from Nakapiripirit district whose name he didn’t disclose for security purposes called his phone pleading with him to accept her bribe and release the truck because her waragi was also inside.

Bongo says the suspects detained at the central police station are expected to appear before the Nakapiripirit grade one magistrate court Wednesday to face charges of illegal possession of waragi and bribery. ‘’This clearly shows that the local leaders in Karamoja are behind various criminal offenses. We would like to warn them to desist from such acts and cooperate with us to clean up the region,’’ he said.

He blamed the local leaders for frustrating their work to stop the waragi business and yet the same leaders are criticizing them for failure to contain the sale of illegal gin.

Simon Sagal, a resident of Namalu trading center applauded the police officer for resisting corruption. Sagal says that the practice of receiving bribes has been so common among the officers manning checkpoints and it is surprising to learn that police reject it in this case. 

He noted that police always collect money from charcoal and waragi transporters making the business boom despite the ban. This comes at the time leaders in Karamoja are calling for investigations and prosecution of people behind the illicit gin that has exacerbated poverty and chronic illness among the population in the region.

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