Almost two hundred arrests have been made in relation to the theft of State infrastructure for scrap iron, acting Police Commissioner Mc Donald Jacob told Guardian Media yesterday.
Three people were arrested in two separate incidents on Wednesday for stealing TSTT cables. One arrest was made in Trincity, the other in St Joseph, while 32-year-old businessman Sumit Chadha, of Chaguanas, was charged for allegedly being in possession of a million dollars’ worth of iron, which was stolen from a Ministry of Works compound in Caroni.
“Our records show that we have arrested 184 persons so far in relation to this whole aspect of scrap and the cutting of the TSTT copper cable,” Jacob said.
However, Jacob said the people he’s hoping to go after are those who buy the scrap iron.
“We must let people know that the receiver is dealt with, twice times the fines and penalties as the person who did the stealing because these are the people who are encouraging you know, the persons who are actually doing the stealing, they are encouraging them because they are providing a market for it,” Jacob said.
He said the buyers are the people police are targeting through intelligence.
When asked if he felt the scrap iron industry needed to be regularised he said, “Well, that is so obvious, it definitely needs to be regulated, because it’s creating a serious problem in Trinidad and Tobago. I know there were several meetings and there seem to be efforts being made to regulate all aspects of the scrap yard industry. And we are there to support it.”
Jacob has held several meetings with Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association president Allan Ferguson already for the year.