Suspected electricity thieves set GPL employee’s car on fire
The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) has accused electricity thieves as being the main perpetrators behind a fire that badly damaged the car of one of its employees.
According to the company, early yesterday morning a car owned by a loss reduction supervisor in Berbice was set on fire.
“It is suspected that this heinous act was perpetrated by a person retaliating against an accusation of stealing electricity. The police are currently investigating.”
According to GPL, as the company continues its relentless loss reduction battle, perpetrators try to find ingenious ways of stealing and will do virtually anything to prevent prosecution.
“As in this case, perpetrators resort to violence.”
The company made mention of its former chief security officer, Clifford Peters, who was shot dead in 2009 whilst investigating alleged electricity theft in Lamaha Park, Georgetown.
“Many employees put themselves at risk every day to curb electricity losses. Yet there are others who are corrupt and collude with perpetrators. The company dismisses these corrupt employees forthwith, and seeks criminal prosecution against them. GPL will do everything in its power to bring perpetrators to justice, and will fully support its honest and hard-working employees.”
According to GPL, between 2007 and this year, almost 50,000 illegal connections were found and removed. Of approximately 2,500 persons who were arrested and charged, over 500 were convicted. There are over 1,000 cases pending in the courts.
“GPL will not give up its fight against electricity thieves. The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars, and will continue to invest significantly, in reducing losses. Amongst other initiatives, the company is moving to implement sophisticated technology that will easily identify customers who are stealing.”
GPL said the technology will provide on-line real time information twenty-four hours a day, which will enable GPL to respond instantly.
“In addition, the system will record vital statistics which will be presented as evidence in court. This technology has had huge success in curbing electricity theft in many countries world-wide.
Electricity theft affects everyone: GPL suffers directly, as it is unable to recover revenues that are much-needed to improve its quality of service. Customers suffer indirectly by having to pay a higher tariff.”
The company appealed for citizens to report electricity theft.
“All information will be treated in the strictest confidence. As losses are reduced everyone benefits. Customers will have an improved quality of service and potentially lower tariffs.”