TEREGO. The police in Terego district are holding a 52year old man identified as Omar Amuku for alleged farming and marketing of opium.
Amuku was arrested in the dawn of Wednesday when security forces launched an operation to uproot the illicit drug in half of a quarter of an acre of land surrounding his hut in Kakamara village, Onayi parish, Aii-vu sub-county, Terego district.
The suspect confessed that he started growing Opium three years ago to pay school fees for his children who are in A-level and O-level respectively.
“I sell a basin of opium at Shs 150,000 to customers from Democratic republic of Congo and annually I harvest up to 50 basins which earns for me about 7.5M”, Amuku confessed.
Mr Abdu Nasa, the Local Council1 chairman of the area expressed relief after the operation claiming that he has been under pressure from the residents to act since it was affecting the health of the youth.
The police officer in charge of Aii-vu sub-county Mr Cyprian Okwera while addressing the residents called them to report the farming of illegal drugs but congratulated the family members and the community for cooperation during the operation.
“Opium is one of the plants classified as drugs and its possession and sale is restricted only under strict rules of the law because it promotes crime and is dangerous to human health, Omar is caught in the wrong footing of the law so we are taking him along”, Okwera advised.
Okwera challenged the people in the area against use of illegal activities to generate resources for their livelihood.
“Government doesn’t support using wrong businesses, there are many things that can be grown here which can earn you clean money, I am seeing cassava, beans and other food crops are doing well here, why don’t you engage in their production? Okwera wondered.
Mr Juma Andiandu, 67, elderly brother of the suspect said his brother failed to pick advice although he explained to him several times that opium production is illegal.
He congratulated the police for being professional although his brother exhibited arrogance during the operation.
“The police officers were professional, they would have tortured my brother because he refused to open his door, and gave irregular responses when interrogated, he refused to listen to me, I told him production of opium is illegal”, Andiandu explained.
Elders from the area expressed delight over the operation after one of the children from the family had become mentally ill because of smoking opium.
The suspect was detained at Terego district central police station in Omugo as investigations continue.
Opium production is reportedly one of the new lucrative businesses which is attracting both the youth and the elderly widely in the district for over five years after tobacco business declined.