15 September 2012

Zambia: Cops Recover 398 Tonnes Copper

THE anti-copper theft squad in Chingola has recovered 398 tonnes of copper ore from a Chinese company in the industrial area.

And Copperbelt Commissioner of Police Mary Tembo has declared "war" against the notorious copper thieves commonly known as 'Jerabos'.

Ms Tembo said police on Tuesday got a tip off from members of the public that a truck was carrying copper ore in sacks from Shunxin Enterprises.

Acting on information from the public, Ms Tembo said police managed to intercept the truck ferrying the copper ore.

She said police recovered eight tonnes of copper ore on August 16 this year from the same place.

She said no arrests had been made, adding that the owner of the company was reportedly out of the country.

Ms Tembo said the tonnage of the copper ore from the premises where the truck was intercepted could go up to 1,194.72 once the recovery exercise was completed.

"I have declared war on the Jerabos and we will continue to fight them. But this time we have taken a different dimension, that of exposing the warehouses and the illegal smelters so as to bar copper exported in smaller quantities.

"We have been struggling with small boys without dealing with the big fishes sending and encouraging these people to steal. This is just the beginning, we shall expose and arrest many," she said.

Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), believed to be the owners of the copper ore, is working with the police to quantify the exact value of the contraband.

KCM spokesperson Joy Sata said such activities were depriving the nation of its wealth as only a few individuals were benefitting.

Ms Sata said such people and companies avoid paying tax and other statutory requirements, thereby reaping money where they did not sow.

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