Saturday, July 31, 2021

Botswana records rise in goat theft

The Director of Anti Stock Theft branch at the Botswana Police Service (BPS) senior assistant police commissioner Maloti Segola says goat theft cases across the country have increased dramatically.

She described the latest development as a major concern.

This follows an incident in which Thamaga police nabbed about eight men who are part of a criminal syndicate that specialises in goat theft.

Speaking to this publication, Segola expressed concern that the country is witnessing an increase in small livestock theft especially goats. 

“As the police we are very concerned about the increasing number of goat theft cases that has hit the country,” she said.

She said as the police they believe that there is a black market somewhere around the country where these stollen goats are sold.

“At the moment we have not yet made any breakthrough where these goats are being taken to but police investigators are busy on the ground trying to piece together any little information that may lead to the arrest of the culprits,” said Segola.

She said recently Thamaga police nabbed about eight suspects linked to the theft of goats.

She added that their arrest came after the suspects were found in possession of a good number of goats and the suspects failed to account for them.

She stated that currently Kgomo Khumo operation (an anti-stock theft sting operation) has been temporally suspended and instead the BPS has introduced district anti-stock teams made of 10 officers.

“Due to Covid-19 pandemic, we have to also observe such protocols and that is why we have now introduced ten officers per team,” said Segola.

She urged farmers to form associations as part of efforts to assist in fighting stock theft across the country.

A farmer, Popolena Setlhaga in the Kweneng district told this publication that early this year she lost close to one hundred goats after they were stolen by suspected rustlers. She said her shed was broken into at night and the thieves made away with all her goats. 

She said even up to date police have not arrested anyone in connection with the stolen goats. 

Setlhaga also urged farmers to form effective farmers associations in order to fight stock theft.

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