ZOMBO. Police in Paidha town, Zombo district have arrested a 35-year-old woman for being in possession of 20 litres of Jet fuel.

Ms Jesca Atimango, a resident of Awinjiri cell, in Paidha town council, was picked up by police on Monday morning after a tip-off from residents.

Police said they have been grappling with increasing cases of substance abuse most especially among the youth.

Mr Christopher Onek, the deputy officer in charge of criminal investigation department (CID) who doubles as the in-charge of anti-narcotic drugs in Zombo district confirmed the incident on Tuesday and said they found the suspect in possession of an illicit drug which he identified as ‘Jet A1 fuel.’

He said the Jet A1 fuel, locally known as ‘thinner’ is an aviation fuel used for flying light aircraft like fighter jets among others.

“We have been on the lookout to arrest the suppliers of this aviation fuel because our children are running mad in this town for sniffing it. Most of the young mentally ill people have a history of substance abuse in this town,” Onek said.

He noted that the most serious effect of the jet A1 aviation fuel on youths is hallucination and eventual psychological instability.

“They soak a piece of cloth into thinner and then begin to sniff it and in a short while, they get intoxicated and begin seeing non-existing things,” Onek explained.

Onek advised members of the community and local leaders to cooperate with police to curb the prevalence of illicit drugs in the community.

He said the suspect will be arraigned in court when investigations are complete.

When contacted, the Winjiri cell chairman, Mr Angelo Onegiu said his office is in collaboration with the police in scaling up operations to arrest and prosecute people trading in illicit drugs.

Onegiu, however, denied allegations that he is using his office to aid and harbor drug dealers from whom he gets some monetary benefits.

“Some people think I aid these people because of the location of my area which takes the whole Paidha main market. But I want to assure you that my office has ever spearheaded crackdowns on drug dealers in this town,” he said.

Onegiu added that his office will be supportive of every effort put by the police and other stakeholders to prevent substance abuse in Paidha town.

Ms Juliet Oyela, a resident of Paidha town said it was not fair for a fellow woman to sell what would destroy children.

According to Oyela, there are still fleets of drug dealers at large and urged the police to intensify its operation so that the innocent youths are saved.

‘Thinner’ is a narcotic drug under psychotropic substances anti-narcotic control acts of 2015 /2016 and it is punishable under Ugandan law.