Lamwo police intercept vehicles ferrying juveniles seemingly to work in Masindi sugarcane plantation

ASP Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River Regional Police Spokesperson (File photo).

Police in Lamwo district yesterday (Wednesday) intercepted two lorries that were ferrying children below 18 years to presumably work in an unknown sugarcane plantation in Masindi District.

The Aswa River Regional Police Spokesperson, ASP Jimmy Patrick Okema, says police intercepted a Fusso truck registration number UAE 568Q at Agoro police post while another whose registration number was not available by publication time was intercepted at Madhi-opei police post.

The police officer says the vehicles were carrying 48 juveniles probably to Masindi without any clearance from either their parents or district leaders.

At around 7pm, some youths at Agoro began pelting rocks at the police officers accusing them of interference forcing the police to fire live bullets into the air to disperse the unruly youths.

The police later handed the juveniles back to their parents with caution and arrested five people and the driver who were ferrying them.

Mr Okema says it is a common practice for desperate youths to be taken to work outside the district but later call back home for rescue.

The police officer adds that police wants the company taking the juveniles to reach an agreement with district authorities and parents before ferrying them to away so they can be held accountable in case of anything.

Audio: Okema on ferrying juveniles (English)

However, the police mouthpiece says police are still investigating the motive of those people ferrying the juveniles before coming up with rightful charges.

“As of now, we still don’t know whether it was child trafficking, child labour or what exactly so we make the rightful charges after investigations,” ASP Okema explains.

However, our reporter understands that the arrested suspects and impounded vehicles were released today (Thursday).

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