We are innocent! - Scrap metal exporters refuse to take blame for copper cable theft

March 17, 2017
These stolen copper wire and pipes were recovered in 2010.

Scrap metal exporters are adamant that the industry is not to be blamed for the theft of copper cables that are used by telecommunications companies to transmit signals to their customers.

The theft of these cables have been very rampant in recent times. However, players involved in the trade of scrap metal believe that they are unfairly targeted.

"Mi feel dem use the scrap metal industry as a scapegoat. Everything happen wrong, them blame scrap metal man," said one disgruntled scrap metal exporter.

The exporter noted that the process of shipping copper is a very tedious process that takes a long time for the dealership to see a profit.

"Shipping copper come in like partner. It tek too long. If yuh a go export copper and yuh carry it go the central processing points, yuh nah get it ship before bout August, unlike other scrap metal products weh yuh can get them shipped within two weeks. So, fi trade copper nuh mek no sense," he said.

He noted that before changes in the regulations that governs the industry, it was a free for all, but the regulations that prohibit the removal and trade of public infrastructure has improved the industry.

"It is a business now. It nuh mek no sense yuh buy no illegal scrap metal because yuh affi pay a $7-million bond. And if yuh buy nothing illegal yuh could lose yuh bond, and the money weh yuh a go get fi selling illegal scrap metal nuh worth $7 million. So, no exporter nah go chance that," the exporter said.

A supervisor at an scrap metal dealership facility claims that the scrap metal industry plays a pivitol role in the beautification of the country.

"Right now, we see it as we cleaning up the country. Every day scraps come about. Dem tear dung buildings, garbage pile up and yuh have people weh have bare old metal store up and we deh ya fi dat," the supervisor said.

The operator of the scrap metal dealership welcomes the increased monitoring of the sector by the authorities.

"We appreciate the regular policing of the industry. But we want them treat the trade of scrap metal as if it is a business," he said.

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