THE PRIME MINISTER intends to seek advice from Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, on banning the marketing of used metals.
He made the statement at the post-Cabinet news conference on Thursday at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.
“It appears as though there are people in our society who are now taking the position that they do not care who they harm, but they make a living by destroying our infrastructure to be able to market the material from which the infrastructure is made,” he said.
“Manhole cover – it doesn’t matter if you fall and break your neck or kill your child or wife, they selling that. Cable – they cut the cable. Now they are cutting the water lines, and it doesn’t matter how many people are inconvenienced or hurt, but that market is now thriving.”
In June, vandals destroyed an electricity pole and stole electrical cables from a WASA booster station in Thick Village, Siparia, affecting over 40,000 customers directly and indirectly.
In Barrackpore in April, a man was electrocuted while trying to steal copper cable. A similar incident happened in Cotton Hill Road, Mayaro. In both incidents, the men’s bodies hung on the lines until technicians from T&TEC removed them.
In another incident, a 23-year-old Carapichaima man was killed while allegedly stealing copper, after a resident shot him in the head.
Newsday reached out to Scrap Iron Dealers Association president Allan Ferguson, who said he will withhold comment until a news conference on Friday at 10 am. However, in June he called for the ban on the sale of copper until thieves were found and apprehended.
“When you don’t have a market then we can stop the theft,” Ferguson said then.
“If we don’t do it, it will get worse.”