Police in Gulu district is holding the District Forest Officer Samuel Abwola over illegal logging and fraud.
Abwola is accused of authorizing illegal logging activities in the areas of Palaro Sub County, more than 20 Kilometers north of Gulu town. He was arrested on the orders of Gulu Resident District Commissioner Captain Santos Okot Lapolo upon impounding a truckload of timber with fake permits and forged receipts of Gulu district local government.
Captain Lapolo accuses Abwola of defrauding Gulu district of millions of Shillings in revenue by issuing fake receipts and permits to timber dealers who instead deposit money through his personal account.
Abwola has been arrested several times over illegal logging activities in Gulu district. In the past, he was apprehended trading in piles of impounded timber stocked at his private residence.
Also arrested is David Ngole, the chairperson of Palaro Sub County and five other unidentified timber dealers. The dealers were intercepted by Captain Lapolo and police while transporting timbers in a blue trailer truck registration number UAQ 079C towards Gulu Town.
Police searched the suspects but could not find proper identification documents before visiting the affected areas. They recovered several items including Solar panels the illegal loggers use while in the jungles of Aswa River.
Bosco Otim, the Aswa River region Police Commander says police acted on intelligence briefing that illegal logging is taking place in Palaro sub County and a major crackdown will be conducted to clean the area.