Major theft at sugar factory prompts changes to scrap metal export

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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ST ANDREW, Jamaica — Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda said he has given instructions for the re-inspection of all scrap metal containers that were packed for export after December 21, 2017.

This is in response to the theft of five metric tonnes of brass sugar mill bearings from the Worthy Park Sugar Factory in St Catherine last year.

The minister said he also ordered the inclusion of brass as a restricted item under the existing regulations governing the export of scrap metal.

According to a release from his ministry today, 74 brass sugar mill bearings valued at $16.5m were stolen from the factory between December 22, 2017 and January 11, making this the second major theft of brass bearings from a sugar factory, following a similar incident in 2013 at the Monymusk factory in Clarendon.

The release added that Samuda reviewed the current scrap metal regime in light of the ongoing threat posed to sugar factories with a view to supporting the recovery of the stolen brass bearings in the short term and to generally tighten the regulations governing the export of brass as a scrap metal.

In the meantime, a joint team from the Jamaica Customs Agency and the Factories Corporation of Jamaica is to investigate the Worthy Park incident under the leadership of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The multiuser sites for the export of scrap metal have also been placed on high alert for brass sightings.

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