With the illegal metal trade continuing to strive unabated, thieves are now stripping hunters’ camps of galvanise sheets.
Over the weekend, at least nine camps in forested areas in Moruga were vandalised, the culprits making off with the galvanise sheets that covered the roofs of the camps and other areas.
Similar to hanging and discarded copper-less cable wires which have now become a common sight in the country, the hunters met just a shell of their camps located at the Saunders Trace, Edward Trace, Catshill and Trinity/Innis areas.
Pravi Maharaj, president of Top Gunz Hunting Association, said, “They stole all the galvanise and anything concerning iron and scrap iron.
“With the weather condition, remember these camps are open. People have their sleeping areas, everything would be damaged with the rain so it would be a total loss for them. Remember, your kitchen area and countertop and some of these guys have a ply area where they sleep, all those things will be damaged,” Maharaj said.
Yussuf “YH” Ali, chairman of the Hunting Zone Committee, said he reported the thefts to the police after several hunters’ associations reached out to him.
He said, “Look what is happening to all the cables and people getting electrocuted and it is a run-off from one to the next, it has gone from cable to camps.”
He said the Government has to put measures in place to address this situation.
“They will sell the galvanise to the scrap dealer. They buying everything and anything and the Government have to start putting things in place to ensure that they don’t cut down all the cables and steal the galvanise and sell it to the scrap dealer.”
Cable thieves were blamed for a fire last Friday which destroyed two houses at Bayshore, Marabella, leaving ten people, including two children, homeless.
A man was also electrocuted on April 9 while cutting cable wires along the Rochard Douglas Road in Barrackpore.
Meanwhile, two men and a woman were arrested on Tuesday in Otahiete, South Oropouche, after they were found stealing copper.
The Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association (TTSIDA) issued a statement yesterday condemning the theft of copper wires, manhole covers and other metals.
It said, “TTSIDA views this situation as very unfortunate and it must be addressed. The scrap iron industry saw an increase in persons coming into the industry in the midst of the pandemic when many suffered job losses and were forced to find different means of survival.”
TTSIDA claimed there were people who wanted to tarnish the industry and contribute to its demise.
“As the recognised association, we cannot and will not allow this to happen,” it said, calling on the Government to hasten the implementation of the much-needed legislation to regularise the industry.