Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Seize assets of farm terrorists, JAS boss urges

Published:Tuesday | April 10, 2018 | 12:51 AMCecelia Campbell -Livingston

The community of Raymonds in Clarendon is still reeling from the gruesome killing of two goat farmers who were found on Thursday with their throats slashed and machete wounds over their bodies.

The farmers – 74-year-old Altimond Harrison of Raymonds District in Hayes and 55-year-old Vincent Hudson of Bog District in Lionel Town were found in bushes in the Community.

Councillor for the division Scean Barnswell is making an appeal to family members of the perpetrators to encourage them to desist from their criminal activities.

“I know the community is upset about what is happening and this time I know they are not going to keep quiet, they are going to reveal who you are going around stealing persons animals,” he said.

Barnswell said his division has been adversely affected as lately it’s hard to get goat meat to buy.

“We can hardly get goat meat from the registered butchers in the area and many persons rear goats for livelihood and it is something that we are concerned about. We are hoping to make a breakthrough very soon,” he said.

Jamaica Agricultural Society president Norman Grant, in reaction to the killing, has urged Government to speedily amend the Agricultural Produce Act to include increasing the fine from the current $250,000 to $5 million.

“The JAS condemns the heinous killing of the farmers and further the stealing of 35 of their goats. This brings into sharp focus the need for the government to expedite the process of amendment to the Agricultural Produce Act and to increase the fine from $250,000 to $5 million,” he said.

Grant also called for the reviewing of the trespass act and to bring the acts within the framework of the Proceeds of Crime Act where convicted “farm terrorists” can have their assets seized by the State and sold to finance a Victim Compensation Fund to support those who suffer from praedial larceny which costs the sector and country $6 billion annually.

There has been no arrest made in the case as yet, but the police have now put up a $250,000 reward for information leading to the perpetrators capture.