The robberies are often violent. There have been dozens of murders in Madagascar linked to vanilla. Several communities have tried and failed to get protection from armed police. Some have taken the law into their own hands. Villagers say in a nearby village, a machete-wielding crowd descended on five suspected gangsters – hacking and stabbing them to death.
The killings have yet to be solved by the police. Locals say there is no will or capacity in the police forces to investigate the vanilla thefts – or the mob justice that sometimes follows.
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