18 armed men arrested along Juba – Nimule Road
The police say they have detained 18 members of organized forces from the military and police services for illegal roadblocks and extortion along Nimule-Juba road.
Director of Customs Maj. Gen. Akol Ayii said the suspects arrested were from the military agencies and the national police service and that they are currently detained at Police headquarters in Buluk.
“We arrested 18 of them and they are now in detention in Buluk. They will be presented to the court. Some of them are security agencies and some of them are police officers,” he to Eye Radio.
The director said the officers will be tried in the military court after the investigation is completed.
“A team has been set and it will form a court for them on a military basis. So I think the team is sitting to take the decision,” said Gen. Ayii.
There have been complaints from traders across the country about illegal tax collection by men in uniform along the highways linking Juba to other states.
Last week, the customs director ordered the removal of roadblocks when a team of government delegations traveled to Nimule to the striking foreign truck drivers.
The drivers had demanded the government to provide security to guarantee their safety along the highway after two of their colleagues were killed along Juba-Nimule road last month.
They had also demanded the government to remove all roadblocks as well as compensating their colleagues who had been killed.
However, Deputy Police Spokesperson Brig. James Dak Karlo told The City Review that all the checkpoints along Nimule-Juba road had been removed including Nesitu with exception of the Nimule border.
He warned that any member of organized forces found collecting money illegally along the highway would be arrested and arraigned.
“Whoever [collects] tax on the road, [should know that it] is illegal and he will be punished according to the disciplinary court of the police act and a court of discipline,” he warned.
Dak said those who were arrested would be identified whether they are from the national security bureau, the intelligence bureau, or the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces.
“If you drive on the road and a self-acclaimed traffic police officer comes to you and asks for money; you who gives him the money you are an accused, meaning you are supporting bribery and you will also be tried in court.
“No collection of taxes except in Nimule, no collection of security taxes, no taxes in Nesitu, Gumbo or Kator within Juba except Nimule border,” Dak said.
“I want to assure that the trucks that have arrived in Juba since that time until now, no taxes were collected from them except in Nimule,” he added.