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Published:Friday | November 15, 2019 | 12:48 AM

Alleged water thieves charged

Weeks after the official commissioning of the $630-million Essex Valley Water Supply Scheme, five persons have been charged under Section Three of the Public Utilities Act and Section 25 of the NWC Act for illegally taking water and trespassing on the works of the National Water Commission (NWC).

The five - Marlon Byfield, Annmarie Evans, Hugh Ford, Lorrenner Brown, and Howard Francis - are to appear before Parish Courts in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, and Porus, Manchester, on December 4 and 16, 2019, and January 4, 2020.

They were charged during a revenue recovery operation in Nain, Stephen Run, Gazeland and Cheapside in St Elizabeth.

In commenting on the operation, which spanned Nain, Stephen Run, Gazeland and Cheapside in St Elizabeth, NWC Regional Manager Jermaine Jackson denounced the prevalent practice of water theft.

“We have had several meetings in the area and have set up mobile offices to make it easier for residents to sign up for the service. We have even reduced the installation cost, but some persons insist on stealing the water,” Jackson said.

Patterson is UWI’s statesman in residence

Former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has been appointed statesman in residence at The University of the West Indies.

The university has also designated a new building as the P.J. Patterson Centre for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy.

Patterson, who serves as trustee of the African Foundation, will direct the research and advocacy of the centre, working in collaboration with former and current presidents of African states, the African Union, the regional private sector, relevant international organisations, and the Caribbean Community.

Since his official retirement from politics, Patterson has emerged as a prominent figure in UWI alumni matters and serves as patron of the University’s Global Giving Programme, an initiative created four years ago to raise money regionally and globally for financially distressed but deserving students. He has also established an endowment fund.

Investors buy minority stake in itelbpo

PanJam Investment Limited (PanJam) and Portland Private Equity taken a cumulative 30 per cent stake, split equally, in Outsourcing Management Limited, which trades as itelbpo.

Founded in 2012 in Montego Bay, itelbpo is the region’s largest, home-grown business process outsourcer, with operations in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico and the United States. The BPO offers voice and digital contactcentre services, as well as customer experience management, using both at-home and on-site workforces numbering more than 2,700.

“We are excited to partner with PanJam and Portland,” said Yoni Epstein, itelbpo’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Their investments will go a long way in enabling our pursuit of scaling the business and building region’s reputation as a destination for outsourcing.”

Epstein said that the company expects to add 5,000 new seats from new and existing clients, and through acquisitions, over the next five years.