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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, is planning a wide-ranging strategy to combat illegal activities plaguing the scrap metal industry.
A release from the Ministry, on Tuesday (October 27), said that the announcement followed Mr. Samuda’s meeting with Police Commissioner, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, on Tuesday (October 27).
“The widespread theft of metals, including railway lines, bridges, telephone cables and copper wire, has resulted in millions of dollars being lost to both Government and the private sector. One communications company reported losses of more than $35 million and service interruptions affecting some 5,000 customers, arising from the stealing of the company’s cables,” the Ministry said.
“At a recent meeting with members of the Scrap Metal Association, Mr. Samuda deplored the re-emergence of the wholesale theft of metals, and announced his intention to set up mechanisms to monitor locations engaged in the packaging of scrap metals for export,” the release continued.
Mr. Samuda also informed the scrap metal exporters that the police force would be incorporated in the efforts, to carry out random inspection of their business sites and to apprehend wrong doers.
Tuesday’s meeting between the Minister and Rear Admiral Lewin examined ways in which the police force could play a pivotal role in stemming the theft of scrap metal, which is threatening Jamaica’s infrastructure.
Persons found to be engaged in the illegal practice of stealing, purchasing or exporting stolen scrap metal can face extensive legal consequences, including a $3-million fine, confiscation of the stolen property and the possibility of a jail term. In addition, their licences can be revoked.

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