The theft of grain seed within the Free State is escalating alarmingly, with thousands and thousands of rands value of seed being stolen within the province since August, in line with Dr Jane Buys, Free State Agriculture’s (FSA) security and threat analyst.
She added that instances of theft had been reported within the Reitz, Bothaville and Fouriesburg areas since early October.
Talking to Farmer’s Weekly, Buys stated the theft of grain seed, maize on the cob, diesel and fertiliser within the province seemed to be the work of well-organised crime syndicates.
The listing of property-related theft was intensive and included copper cables, diesel, farming tools, livestock, in addition to agricultural produce.
“The theft of maize on the cob is a first-rate instance of how a criminal offense syndicate operates. Teams of well-organised syndicate members surreptitiously invade a maize land to pilfer maize cobs. They know precisely what they need to do and the place to ship the stolen maize. The crime is deliberate intimately and run as a well-functioning enterprise enterprise,” Buys stated.
She known as on farming communities to be on the look out for the suspicious motion of automobiles and folks of their areas. Within the case of seed, it was clear that the perpetrators had been concentrating on giant volumes, Buys stated. Lots of of baggage of seed had been stolen throughout these robberies, and lots of automobiles had been wanted to quickly cart away the stolen merchandise.
Jakkals le Roux, chairperson of FSA’s Rural Security Committee, stated indications had been that the organised crime rings had been working throughout provincial borders. He known as on the victims of seed theft to report all incidences to the South African Police Service in addition to FSA, in order that crime tendencies and patterns might be recognized. This was essential for acquiring an correct image of the extent of those crimes.
Buys added that, in line with the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (No. 121 of 1998), a criminal offense was categorised as a type of organised crime if it was dedicated by two or extra people benefiting from such a criminal offense. This referred to individuals making a residing from the proceeds of crime, or to complement themselves and others inside that group.