Crack down on more than 1000 tons of Opium in Soroti district

SOROTI – Soroti district Resident District Commissioner [RDC], Stephen Okumu, has cracked down on more than 1000 tons of opium.

The operation follows a community outcry by Oculoi sub county residents, Soroti district over the increasing number of children taking to opium.

According to Okumu, they mounted a search for the opium growers in Oculoi sub county after being tipped by the community.

The perpetrators whose livelihood has been solely dependent on opium had it grown on acres for years without a license from the government.

Okumu says, after securing a court order, they destroyed the opium and are in search for the perpetrators who are still at large.

“The search for the perpetrators are still ongoing and once arrested they will be an example to those engaging in this criminality.”

Okumu further adviced parents to watchout and safeguard their children from consumption of the drug, as it is dangerous to their health and many end up insane.

The perpetrators deceive unsuspecting residents that they are licensed by government and yet they are producing it illegally, says the RDC.

Meanwhile, Margret Aanyu, the Soroti district Chief Magistrate says, this act is not acceptable and those found should be dealt with according to the law.

She revealed that some samples have been kept at the police station to serve as exhibits when perpetrators are arrested.

“I gave a court order for their arrest but they managed to escape this will not end here. Wherever they are, they should know that they are answerable for their actions, “Aanyu said.

She encouraged those who have ears to heed the advice because they will be held culpable for these criminal actions.

“The punishment is very harsh so don’t even think of trying it,”Aanyu says.

Sarah Atiang, one of the victims whose son started smoking opium condemned the act as satanic.

Atiang told theCooperator that she only realized her son was smoking opium after he attempted to beat her up.

“My son dropped out of school and has been asking for money from me and I would give him hope that he would reform. But on this particular day, I failed to give him and he almost beat me up,” said Atiang.

James Otim, a farmer and father of five says, youths have found refuge in drugs instead of being productive and helping their parents.

He urges the government to come up with strict measures that can address this illegal business.

Otim adds that there are many businesses someone can venture into and wonders why this kind of business is against the law?

“Why would someone mentally upright venture in this kind of business, aware that its dangerous, Otim asked.

Opium is believed to be a highly addictive narcotic drug acquired in the dried latex form, the opium poppy.

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