Tractor Vandals Arrested 05/02/2008

The Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture has seen three of its senior officials arrested by Yobe State police. The senior officials have been arrested for allegedly vandalising tractors which belong to community agricultural services, through the ostensible removal of tractor units from the site of the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture. It has been reported that the arrests of the alleged tractor vandals were made after local police were tipped off by other officials at the Ministry that the vandalism of the tractors was taking place.

It has been suggested that the police were charging the suspects of the tractor vandalism with impersonation, forgery and criminal breach of trust. It has been suggested that the senior officials removed the tractor units from the site of the Ministry of Agriculture without permission from the Commissioner for Agriculture.

Other occurrences of tractor theft and vandalism have been widely encountered. For example, in Britain in 2007, it was reported that approximately £5.5 million worth of tractors and farm machinery were stolen. This is around an increase of 22 per cent than tractor thefts in 2006. It is rumoured that many tractors stolen within the UK are shipped via sea transport to other countries. It would seem that stolen tractors have been sold on easily due to many buyers not checking to see whether the tractors are in fact stolen.

The National Plant and Equipment Register offers the potential for buyers to check if tractors are stolen goods before buying, if the equipment has been registered with them. A basic check costs around £10, and ensures that the serial number found on the tractor matches the name of the current owner of the tractor. A more comprehensive search to find out if a buyer is considering purchasing a tractor which is in fact stolen costs around £30.

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