The Algarve’s wave of carob thefts continues as GNR police continue to seize huge amounts of carobs before they are stolen.
One of the latest operations on August 2 and 3 saw agents confiscate around 15 tonnes of carobs – worth around €28,000 – which were being kept on a plot of land in Altura (Castro Marim) by a man who “could not justify where they had come from,” a GNR police statement explained.
The 44-year-old man was identified, and the case was handed over to Vila Real de Santo António Court.
Another 434 kilos of carobs were seized days later in Silves and São Bartolomeu de Messines.
Last Friday (August 5), GNR police were called to a carob farm in Silves where four people (two male, aged 17 and 55, and two female 15 and 56) were illegally picking carobs. “As they did not have authorisation from the owner to do so”, they were identified by the GNR and their vehicle was seized. Around 257 kilos of carobs were also confiscated.
The second incident happened last Saturday (August 6) when GNR officers detected “a large quantity of carobs” inside a car. The four suspects (three men aged 19, 30 and 46 and a woman aged 43) were also “unable to justify where the carobs had come from” and were identified by authorities, who seized the 177 kilos of carobs as well as the vehicle.
Reports of huge carob thefts are becoming a weekly – if not daily – occurrence in the Algarve, as carob farmers continue to demand changes to the existing legislation.
A protest was held in Loulé on July 29, with producers stressing that they are “tired of being robbed” and that there is a law proposed by a working group as part of an action plan to combat these thefts which “has been sitting on the Minister of Agriculture’s desk for over a year”.