Sun | May 31, 2020

Price: Don’t buy equipment from shady people - FLOW boss urges business operators to be wary as company battles theft

Published:Friday | September 20, 2019 | 12:09 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Stephen Price, country manager of telecommunications company FLOW, is urging business operators to shun questionable contractors selling equipment even as they try to secure deals to improve their energy efficiency.

“A lot of you are looking to make sure you become more energy efficient, but please use certified and qualified contractors and not the fly-by-night kind of contractors who are bringing and using stolen equipment from across the telecommunications space,” Price said as he was addressing Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He was at the meeting to address complaints from FLOW customers.

“There are blossoming green-energy businesses that are popping up islandwide who are stealing batteries, rectifiers, and other things that are used in our trade. We have seen our batteries on mining trucks, so there’s a trade for lead deep-cycle batteries,” added Price.

Over recent years, FLOW has had to struggle with vandalism and theft of cables and batteries from its plants. Since January, the company has spent roughly $600,000 to replace stolen cables. In some instances, cables are stolen for their copper wiring to be pawned off in the scrap metal trade.

In April, a man was arrested in St James after he was held with $2.5 million worth of batteries stolen from FLOW’s network sites in Trelawny and St Ann.

Price described such acts as a form of terrorism.

“I call it terrorism because you’re terrorising the people of Jamaica and preventing them from being able to access telecoms services so they can do their business. It’s not just you as the business community is affected, as Government, police stations, and hospitals are also affected,” said Price.