The Guyana Power and light (GPL) Incorporated reports that 260 persons have been arrested by the police for illegal diversion of electricity but expressed concern at the rate in which these cases are completed in the courts.
The Power Company attributed these arrests to its intensified exercise to reduce commercial losses resulting from electricity theft. In a statement, GPL revealed that 3,921 illegal electricity connections were detected and removed during the period January to June, 2013.
The utility company explained that a total of 111 raids were conducted by GPL’s technical teams, spearheaded by representatives from the Company’s Loss Reduction Department and the Guyana Police Force in communities along the East Bank, West Bank and East Coast of Demerara, Berbice, Georgetown and its outskirts.
According to GPL, resulting from these exercises was the highest number of illegal connections detected and removed which totals 2,410 were discovered in Sophia and other Georgetown locations.
GPL reminded that In 2007, a total of 2,760 persons were arrested for the diversion of electricity however, 1,490 of these cases are still pending at various Magistrates’ Courts while 549 persons have been convicted and fined with some of the perpetrators given up to two years imprisonment.
The Electricity Sector Reform Act clearly outlines severe penalties for perpetrators guilty of electricity theft.
GPL has been pursuing every case from the criminal and civil aspects with some convicted persons being sentence to periods of imprisonment while being back billed for up to 24 months by the power company.