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article imageJamaica imposes ban on scrap metal trade

By Kev Hedges     Jul 27, 2011 in Politics
Jamaica has shut down its recyclable scrap metal trade in the wake of persistent plundering of power lines, cabling and other precious metals used to keep the Caribbean island's infrastructure afloat.
Minister for Commerce Christopher Tufton announced an indefinite ban on the trade of recyclable metals. He said the decision, passed by the Cabinet, was a difficult one but was necessary and taken in the national interest. However, the decision has not pleased everyone within Jamaica's political circles. Former Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Karl Samuda was said to be disappointed by the ruling. He said he had wrestled with the nefarious scrap metal dealers and traders since he took office in 2007. He also said on Tuesday that plans he had implemented to weed out the rogue dealers were beginning to bear fruit and that those plans had now been arbitrarily kicked aside by new Minister Tufton.
Samuda had planned to install one scrap metal dealer depot where metals would be displayed openly to custom officials, police and victims before disappearing overseas. He says the outright ban penalises honest scrap metal dealers.
Minister Tufton has told the Associated Press that scrap metal dealers have repeatedly failed to discourage or prevent vandals who strip metal from anywhere they can and then recycle those metals such as copper, bronze and aluminium for cash.
Jamaica had previously imposed a temporary ban on the export of recyclable metals, but the thieving of metal continued. The island nation was outraged when earlier this month when metal bandits dug up over 100 graves at the May Pen Cemetery in West Kingston and stole several pieces of scrap metal and gold from caskets.
More about Scrap metal, metal thieves, Jamaica, Metal, plundering
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