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...Scrap metal thieves hit LIME for $9m

Monday, August 20, 2012    

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AS the government considers lifting the ban on the scrap metal trade, telecoms company LIME is reporting that the latest incident of theft of some of its transmission cables in Hellshire Heights, St. Catherine, has resulted in service restoration costs of $3.5 million.

This brings to more than $9 million the bill for such repairs for the company in that parish alone in less than two months. The theft of this type of cable has been linked with the illicit trade in copper scrap in the past, LIME said in a press statement.

The incident, which affected Hellshire Heights, Johnson Hill and its environs in the parish, resulted in loss of approximately 500 metres of 600 pair cables and a further 230 metres of 200 pair cable, impacting voice and BlackBerry service of about 300 customers last week.

Since July, LIME has experienced similar incidents of theft in other areas in the parish such as Dunbeholden, Bernard Lodge, Sligoville, Leiba Gardens and St Jago Hills, the company said.

"The theft of our cables continues to affect us in many ways. As we look at our strategies to manage this risk we are calling on the Government to implement the appropriate regulations to enable a well-run industry and better protection for businesses such as LIME which continue to face huge financial losses, interruption of services and inconvenience to customers," LIME's Managing Director Garry Sinclair was quoted as saying.

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