Saint Lucia’s Praedial Larceny Unit has cautioned citizens against facilitating thieves by buying produce they suspect might have been stolen.
Dellan Emmanuel, the Supervisor of the Unit’s Micoud Team, explained that thieves might steal crops farmers have treated for pests or fungus.
Emmanuel disclosed that if consumed, the crops could be harmful to health.
He said stolen animals might be sick or treated for illness as a precautionary measure.
“The thieves do not care about any of us. All they care about is making a quick buck,” Emmanuel asserted.
He told St. Lucia Times that food safety and security have become priorities for the Praedial Larceny Unit.
Emmanuel urged vendors not to buy agricultural produce or animals from people they know are not farmers.
“Praedial Larceny will not only hurt our farmers and their families, but it can also affect us, as some of the stolen produce or animals are not fit for consumption,” the Praedial Larceny Unit official stated.
Emmanuel said the Unit has increased patrols to deter or prevent praedial Larceny.
However, he appealed to citizens to play their part and report any suspected activity of praedial Larceny directly to the Unit or the nearest police station.
Emmanuel said it is an offence to dishonestly receive any agricultural produce that is stolen or unlawfully obtained.
In addition, he noted that October is Creole Heritage Month, when people enjoy local dishes.
“Consumption of exotic meat like opossum becomes more prevalent during this month. As a result, the Praedial Larceny unit would like to remind individuals that under the Wildlife Protection Act, it is illegal to kill opossums and to remove crayfish from the rivers of Saint Lucia,” Emmanuel told St. Lucia Times.
He also reminded vendors that they should only sell crayfish raised in a pond and not taken from Saint Lucia’s rivers.
Regarding lobsters, Emmanuel observed that vendors should not sell undersized ones.
Headline photo: File image of police checking vehicle.