The T&T Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association will implement measures next week to prevent copper cable thefts.
The announcement follows Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley appointment of a sub-committee to review the industry after numerous reports of TSTT copper cables being stolen from poles.
Last Wednesday, Allan Ferguson, the association’s president, said these measures were decided on and endorsed by the members.
He recommends halting the export of copper from Trinidad and Tobago for three months. He also recommended that a Customs officer be on hand when dealers are packing containers with copper to ensure that there are no stolen TSTT wires in the containers. Also, a police officer and a representative from the association will be present as a temporary measure to help prevent what is happening across the country, Ferguson added.
He said the association will be going to all the scrap iron dealers’ yards across Trinidad and Tobago, members or no members.
“And the thing about it is that we are a recognised body in the country concerning scrap. The thing about it is that if you want to be out of the association and keep doing the wrong thing, we will not be entertained by that, so everybody, it doesn’t matter if you are not a member of the association, you have to be able to follow the laws,” he said.
Ferguson noted that the industry brings in foreign exchange and employment.
“We will start rolling from Tuesday. We are going to make sure that all our members, even the van guys that come into our yards, will have stickers so you will know who is bonafide and registered as well. We will also give them receipt books as well, to have a trace of the materials and the next thing we are doing is to allow materials that come in to stay in the yard for seven days. This will allow that if any stolen items are taken, they can be retrieved and those guilty will face the brunt of the law,” Ferguson said.
The association met with the Cabinet sub-committee on Wednesday.
The sub-committee was appointed after PM Rowley announced the Government would move to shut down the scrap iron industry if the blatant theft of State infrastructure, which also includes WASA pipeline fittings, does not stop.
Attorney General Reginald Armour, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, Energy Minister Stuart Young and National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds are all on the sub-committee.
Ferguson said there will be a special meeting of all dealers and collectors this weekend and for one month, all collectors and dealers can contact the TTSIDA to register and become compliant.