Scrap metal regime working insists industry minister
The Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Anthony Hylton, says the country’s scrap metal export regime remains strong despite recent incidents of theft that have resulted in millions of losses.
Last December, thieves stole approximately $1.1 million worth of copper cables belonging to telecommunication company LIME in Hellshire, St Catherine.
The theft left hundreds of customers without internet and landline telephone service.
LIME has reportedly indicated that it lost about $60 million in 2014 as a result of cable theft.
The Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister says he condemns all illicit activities adding that the government continues to put measures in place to protect critical infrastructure.
According to him, protocols introduced to govern the scrap metal industry are working.
Hylton says he fully supports calls for stronger penalties for thieves who prey on the telecommunications sector.
Following last month’s theft of LIME cables the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) said more needs to be done to deter thieves.
The PSOJ said the theft of cables from its members, Digicel, LIME and FLOW, has caused disruption of vital communication services, threatening the viability of businesses.
It further stated that if left unchecked such theft could have serious implications for Jamaica’s improving perception as an attractive option for investors.
THE GLEANER MINUTE