Did you know that the buyer of stolen goods is as guilty as the criminal?

Don’t buy stolen goods.

The holiday season is on our doorstep; people will be making arrangements to go away for the holiday and will be buying gifts.

During this busy time, the South African Police Service (SAPS) appeals to the community to make proper arrangements to secure their property while they are away. But most of all, the SAPS appeals to the public not to create a market for criminals by buying stolen goods.

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.

ALSO READ: SAPS warns of job scam

The Act indicates that the buyer of stolen goods is as guilty as the criminal stealing the goods. 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.
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 a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years.

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.

ALSO READ: Avoid becoming a victim of house robbery

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.

Play your part in the fight against buying of stolen goods!

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