Copper Wire Theft a Scourge for Telecom

THE theft of copper wire and vandalism of infrastructure continues to plague the country’s telecommunications parastatal despite stepped up efforts to combat it.

“There is no question the theft has got much worse this year,” said Telecom’s public relations officer Oiva Angula in a press statement issued yesterday.

Angula said thieves stole a 60 metre underground cable from Gerub Street in Windhoek. Angula said the same cable had been cut and stolen the week before and repair work had been completed on Tuesday.

Angula added that criminals opened a manhole and cut all the cables in the trunking near Windhoek’s Ombilli Shopping Complex the same day. Three suspects were however caught with 114kg of copper wire stolen from a redundant Telecom Namibia route between Osire and Okakarara.

“The crimes, whether taking the form of theft, vandalism or sabotage, are being committed purely for financial gain and cannot be regarded as petty any longer,” Angula remarked.

Angula has urged government to tighten the regulations on the scrap metal business to stop the rampant theft of copper wire.

Telecom has offered a N$20 000 reward for information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of these vandals and those stealing communication cables or other equipment from the national network across the country, said Angula.

Source : The Namibian