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Kitgum police boss in trouble over illegal logging

Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa River Region police spokesperson confirmed the arrest.

Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lamwo police are holding one of their own for his alleged involvement in illegal logging.

Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa River Region police spokesperson identifies the suspect as Julius Mpande, the Officer in Charge of Operations at Kitgum central police station.

He is locked up together with Habib Mwanje, a suspected illegal timber logger who was arrested by residents on Wednesday evening.

According to Okema, Mpande was detained on Thursday morning after residents of Lokung sub county intercepted a Fuso truck registration number UAV 253M loaded with over 260 pieces of timber that was being escorted by the police officer.

The suspects have been charged with illegal possession of forest produce contrary to section 32 (I) 1 of the National Forestry Act.

David Ocan Kasisi, the Lokung sub county LC V councilor says the suspects have been involved in the depletion of the natural forest cover in Omuwa, Paladiya, Aweno-Olwiyo, Berlobo, Guriya East, Lelabul and Ywaya villages in Dibolyec parish, Lokung East sub county.

Kasisi says documents recovered from the suspects indicate that Mpande had reached an agreement with the Guriya East LC I chairperson Charles Langoya Lubuya to fell trees in the area.

Okema says the arrest comes at a time when the environmental police have launched a crackdown on illegal timber dealers in Acholi sub region where over thirty people have been apprehended and charged within the past week alone.

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