The thieves have allegedly been slipping the officers $25 when caught stealing from Damofalls Limited, Irvines Limited and Caledonia Farm.
“We pay $25 if we are caught and then we are allowed to go free,” said one of the thieves.
“If, however, you are caught by members of the Environmental Management Agency, you are asked to pay anything from $100 to $5 000. They do not allow you to go free like the police officers.”
A ZRP officer said they were only doing their job and were allowed to charge a penalty fee. He, however, denied allowing the thieves to go free after being caught in the act.
“They are lying,” he said. “We take them away when we catch them. We are not criminals.”
Under the EMA regulations, it is illegal to remove clay or sand for commercial purposes without a licence issued by the EMA. The licence costs about $110 a quarter, according to an EMA official.
“They are not afraid of the ZRP, but they are afraid of us,” he said. “Maybe this is because our fines are hefty.”Post published in: News