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March 10, 2014
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Theft of LIME cables increases

With the costs associated with theft of its copper cables since the year 2000 moving closer to J$400 million, telecommunications firm LIME remains concerned about the trend despite recent media reports suggesting that the new governance regime for the scrap metal trade has been a success.

LIME is reporting a significant increase in the number of thefts of its copper cables over the past three years; moving from 48 incidents in 2011 at a cost of J$13.5 million, to 56 incidents in 2012 totalling J$23.8 million, and 55 incidents in 2013, resulting in costs of a staggering J$38.3 million.

According to LIME Jamaica CEO Garfield Sinclair, "We are not opposed to the additional scrap metal export regulations implemented in January 2013, which imposed restrictions on copper exports. However, we have not seen where these restrictions have resulted in the abatement in the theft of our copper cables, at a tremendous cost to our business."

cable theft

Thieves struck again on February 12 at what appears to be a hot- spot for cable theft along the Hellshire main road in Portmore and cut a 400-metre section of copper cable which delivers various telephone services to hundreds of customers in the nearby communities of Upper Fort, Johnson Ridge, Cannon Ridge, Edge Hill and Hellshire Park Estate. One man was arrested on the scene by the Greater Portmore police shortly after an alarm was raised. The others escaped, leaving the severed cable behind.

LIME is reminding the public to report suspicious activity around its telecommunications infrastructure to 922 HELP (4357), or call the police at 119.

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