Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has defended his recent decision to suspend the licences of two major players in the scrap metal industry after it was suspected that they were involved in illegal practices.
The Minister said the licences of the two companies, St. Catherine Metal Recyclers Ltd. and Kingston Scrap Metal will remain suspended until they can provide sufficient evidence to clear their names.
Addressing a press conference at his St. Lucia Avenue office in New Kingston today (February 9), Mr. Samuda revealed that some 556 water meters were found on the premises of St. Catherine Metal Recyclers while, copper wires, pipe fittings and ground copper were found at the Kingston Scrap Metal site.
He informed that in both cases the police were called in and individuals found on the property at the time were arrested. The Minister said he is expected to meet with representatives from the companies, who will have to provide evidence that they were unaware of the illegal activities taking place on their property. He made it clear that he was not prepared to listen to any farfetched explanations.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, warning that those determined to wreak havoc in the scrap metal industry will feel the full force of the law, at a press briefing at his office, St. Lucia Avenue, New Kingston on Tuesday (February 9).
“To tell me as the Minister that you didn’t realise that these were stolen is to ask me to believe things that are highly unlikely because the (National) Water Commission is not in the business of calling in scrap metal dealers to sell meters. I would have thought that if someone brings 500 and odd meters to sell you, that the first thing you would seek to do is call the water commission and ask them if they had made arrangements to dispose of these meters,” he argued.
He informed that the National Water Commission has since reclaimed the property.
According to Minister Samuda there has been an increase in the theft of “very expensive infrastructure that is being undertaken by rascals, who are bent on not only destroying the basic infrastructure of our country but is also creating havoc in an industry that otherwise could earn us valuable foreign exchange.”
The Minister warned that those who continue to wreak havoc on the industry will feel the full force of the law.
“There is no limit to the extent some of these rascals will go and so there is no pity on this side of the table. This Minister is not going to extend any sympathy whatsoever to anyone found guilty of any impropriety,” he stated.