A man who pleaded guilty to stealing sweet potatoes faces up to 13 months hard labour, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries.
In an update yesterday, the Ministry said Kennedy Aziz, of Princes Town, was allegedly found on cultivated lands and in possession of a white crocus bag of sweet potato produce on December 23, 2021, and was charged by officers of the Praedial Larceny Squad (PLS) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries.
The Ministry said he faces up to 13 months hard labour after he was sentenced by a Magistrate on Christmas Eve.
The Ministry said a farmer from Craignish Village in Princes Town reported that on December 23, 2021, at around 7: 30 am, he went to tend to his sweet potato, eddoes, plantation and peas crops at his two-acre agricultural holding located at the Borde Narve Estate of Sugar Road, when he observed a 58-year old man known to him standing in his sweet potato field, reaping his sweet potato crops and placing same into a white crocus bag.
The farmer reported that when he called out to the suspect, he dropped the said crocus bag with sweet potatoes and escaped into the nearby bushes.
Subsequent to the farmer’s report, the crocus bag containing the sweet potato produce was photographed and the identified suspect was picked up for enquiries at the Barrackpore Police Station.
A verification parade was then undertaken and an officer of the PLS (Investigation and Intelligence Unit)- acting on the instructions of a legal officer – charged the suspect for the offences of Praedial Larceny and Found on Cultivated Lands.
The matter was heard before Magistrate Alert at the Princes Town Magistrate 2nd Court on December 24, 2021, where Aziz pleaded guilty on both counts after the charges were read.
For the offence of Praedial Larceny, he was fined $3,500 and given until January 31, 2022, to pay or in default, serve 12 months hard labour.
For the offence of being found on cultivated lands, he was fined $500 dollars and given until January 31, 2022, to pay or in default, serve four weeks hard labour.
The Ministry said the sweet potatoes were returned to the victim.
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