Community members are encouraged to play their part in the fight against the buying of stolen goods.
According to Douglasdale Police Station spokesperson Captain Mpho Tshetlhane, the objectives of the Second-Hand Goods Act (Act No 6 of 2009) are to regulate the business of dealers in second-hand goods and pawnbrokers, to combat trade in stolen goods and to promote ethical standards within the second-hand goods environment.
She explained that the Act implicates both parties involved. “In essence, any person buying stolen goods is as guilty as the person who had originally stolen the goods and harsh sentences will apply to both the buyer and the thief.”
Tshetlhane added that the Act also empowers the police to arrest both the buyer and the thief, so there is no excuse when it comes to crime. “An unscrupulous dealer who has been found guilty of failing to comply with the provisions of the Act may be sentenced to an imprisonment term of up to 10 years.”
She highlighted that second-hand goods dealers and pawnbrokers must not only take reasonable steps to ensure that they do not buy stolen goods or goods that have been tampered with, but they must always be vigilant when buying goods form someone.
“All dealers in second-hand goods are required to report all suspicious transactions to the police when they suspect that the seller of goods is providing false information about it or where the goods are suspected to be stolen or tampered with.”
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