Stolen wools are being recycled into the trade and individuals are knowingly or unknowingly buying these wools, according to the SA Wool and Mohair Buyers Association (SAWBA) in Port Elizabeth.
In a statement, the organisation said in at least one case the stolen wool was sold after being removed from pressed bales and repacked in polyprop bags of the kind used for maize meal. T he broker COGHWC has experienced the theft of greasy wool bales from its warehouse on several occasions. The most recent theft led to the arrest of four suspects and the recovery of wool at a smallholding outside Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape. SAWBA appealed to those involved in the wool trade to take the necessary steps to ensure that proper records are kept and that wools from suspicious sources in larger than expected quantities are carefully scrutinised. he statement warns that people who buy suspect wool could face prosecution, and notes that without a buyer for stolen wool there would be no incentive to steal it. – Roelof Bezuidenhout