By Moses Alinda

 ARUA:  Two suspected serial child traffickers in West Nile region have Monday been arraigned before Arua high court.

Sabir Siraji and the co-accused Geriya  Salma were charged with  30 counts, 20 of which are of fraud, 8 of  aggravated trafficking in children, 2 of trafficking in persons.

The cases were reportedly committed within Arua City and registered at Arua police station.

Police are following up the cases which were allegedly committed in Maracha, Nebbi districts.

The suspects were arrested on Wednesday  from Hotel Arua in Arua city last week  following  a tip off by a concerned citizen.

They were keeping over 50 children in the hotel.

The children aged between 5 to 10 years were allegedly ferried from various districts of West Nile Sub region.

The security led by Arua Resident City Commissioner- RCC Alice Akello together with the help of police led the operation which led to Sabiri’s arrest.

However Sabiri denied any wrongdoing claiming that he was taking the children to Al-Rahman Islamic primary and secondary school in Bombo to study.

RCC Akello has cautioned the parents against giving out their children to strangers and advised them to take their children to the schools where they can closely monitor them.

” I have talked to parents on several occasions to protect their children but they have not heeded,” Akello said.

Akello advised the parents to keep their children at home or to take them to government schools in case they don’t have money for school fees in order to safeguard them from being recruited into evil activities.

Muzaidi Khemisi, the mayor of Arua central division, asked the security to thoroughly investigate and interrogate the suspects since there were reports of children being recruited by ADF rebels.

Muzaidi revealed that the same Sabiri was arrested several times with children in Maracha district last year while ferrying them from Yumbe.

However the circumstances under which he was released from police custody raises questions.

The children who were recently rescued in Ntoroko district revealed that they had been ferried from Arua bringing suspicion that Sabiri could be an agent of wrong elements in the area.

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