Sun | Dec 10, 2017

NWC says 5 persons in Clarendon arrested for stealing water; 3 convicted

Published:Saturday | August 26, 2017 | 10:22 AM

The National Water Commission (NWC) says five persons were prosecuted earlier this month as it intensifies its drive to rid its network of illegal connections that are preventing it from recovering its revenue.

The persons who are from Clarendon were brought before the Clarendon Parish Court to answer to the charges of unlawful usage of water and the unlawful taking and supplying of water.

According to the NWC, during routine recheck operations in July, its Clarendon Revenue Recovery Team in conjunction with the police visited the communities of Preddie and Chapelton Road.   

The operations resulted in five persons being arrested by the police. They were subsequently brought before the court on August 3. 

Three persons from the Preddie community were convicted and sentenced. They are:

Lancie McLean, who was found guilty on two counts of unlawful taking of water. He was fined $150,000 or 30 days in prison on the first count and $150,000 or three months in prison for the second count.

The second person, Asinto Williams, was found guilty of unlawful taking of water and was sentenced to a fine of $150,000 or 30 days in prison with hard labour.

The third person, Hugh Sweeney, was found guilty of unlawful taking of water and unlawful supplying of water. He was fined $150,000 or three months in prison on the first count and another $20,000 or 30 days in prison at hard labour for the second count.

Additionally, bench warrants were issued for Una Taylor and Georgeth McLaughlin, both of 10 Chapelton Road for their failure to appear before the court.

Four additional persons were also prosecuted in the Milk River area on August 15 and are presently awaiting a date to appear in court to face charges.

Revenue Recovery Manager, Raymond Nesbeth, emphasised that delinquency and theft contribute significantly to the financial losses that the NWC faces each year and must be tackled aggressively to reap the desired result.

He is urging customers who are faced with challenges in paying their bills, to visit the commercial office where arrangements can be made to settle outstanding balances and to avoid lengthy court actions, unnecessary costs and embarrassments.

The NWC also urges persons not to illegally connect to its systems and is asking the public to report any suspicion of an illegal connection to any office of the NWC or to call the NWC’s toll-free number at 1-888-225-5692 (1-888 CALL-NWC).