Over the years many things have been traded for guns: gold, jewels, furs, and of course drugs. Well now goats can be added to the list as criminals in Jamaica are trading stolen goats for guns.
Clarendon parish in Jamaica have been rocked by a spate of goat rustling. The problem has become so bad that local police have had to post ‘Larceny Goat Hotspots’ lists to warn residents and farmers to be on the lookout for would-be goat thieves.
While it’s pretty easy to laugh at the idea of goats being stolen to trade for guns, the problem is serious with the Jamaican goat gangsters swapping the goat meat for guns, motorcycles and other illegal items in neighbouring Haiti. Drugs for guns deals used to be the norm but it seems goats have now replaced ganja.
Deputy Police Commissioner Clifford Blake told press that:
We are aware of the incidents of larceny involving the stealing of goats and we are prepared to go the extra mile to ensure that it is eradicated The police are also aware that gang members have been profiting from the theft of goats and there is a link now with the guns for drugs trade with Haiti. The police will double our efforts to bring a halt to the proceedings.
The ongoing problem has caused uproar among local farmers who are struggling with the loss of their livestock and livelihoods. In August, a video of an impounded vehicle full of stolen goats was shared online:
Thieves crammed 23 stolen goats into the back of a car, when police stopped the vehicle the driver fled on foot. Police told local press that “In the year 2017, a total of 15 murders and 18 shootings were attributed to praedial thefts [aka goat larceny].” 8 more murders and 6 more shootings have been linked to the rustling in 2018. Jamaican police estimate that 870 goats have been stolen in Clarendon January 2017 and August 15, 2018.