In an effort to safeguard their industry, TT Scrap Iron Dealers president Allan Ferguson has advised members against buying materials originating from the defunct Petrotrin.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Ferguson said the industry had been shut down in 2012 by the previous PP administration because dealers had unknowingly bought stolen materials.
He said Petrotrin security personnel had told the association five generators worth approximately half a million dollars had been stolen from the company last week.
“A lot of material is being stolen by people driving vans from Petrotrin and bringing it to our yard. So we want to notify our members not to purchase that material. because in 2012, the last government had shut down our industry because stolen material was coming to our yard."
He said the members have invested a lot of money in this industry and did not want a repeat.
They had a meeting with the Commissioner of Police onWednesday, he said, as well as one with Petrotrin security last week.
"And they had informed us that in the last week, four or five generators worth about half a million had been stolen in a week's time and they reported to us that a lot of things was moving out of Petrotrin fast.”
Ferguson said dealers would buy materials from Petrotrin only from sellers with provide proof of ownership.
He said, however,that foreign buyers were damaging the industry, as they were buying the materials and shipping themout of TT.
"We want to inform the national public about that, because we don’t want to run into problems because of their actions, because if anything take place, they will be able to pack up and leave Trinidad.”
Ferguson also alleged the new security guards hired to safeguard the company’s assets were incapable of doing so, given the size of the premises and the number of entry points.
“The security that they have there, they could only block what they know. They could never have security to protect all of Petrotrin material, because that place is so big, and because of that a lot of people going in and stealing the material.”
“The only way to stop it is if we as scrap dealers not buying nothing. They wouldn’t be able to sell nobody.”
There are approximately 68 scrap iron yards throughout the country.