Tafadzwa Chibukwa, Online Reporter
POLICE have arrested five suspects for unlawful possession of copper wire.
Ishmael Chikumbirike (34), Leeroy Tembo (24), William Chikunda (29), Ernest Chivasa (23) and Tatenda Julious (25) were arrested after a tipoff on Monday.
National Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests.
“On Monday, police reacted to a tip-off and arrested Ishmael Chikumbirike (34), Leeroy Tembo (24), William Chikunda (29), Ernest Chivasa (23) and Tatenda Julious (25) for unlawful possession of copper cables. 24kgs of copper wire were recovered from the suspects,” he said.
Ass Insp Nyathi added that the copper wire was stolen at the 41 km peg along Harare – Bulawayo railway line.
Possession of copper cables without a valid licence now attracts a mandatory 10-year prison sentence without the option of a fine under new regulations meant to deter vandalism of key utilities.
The Copper Control Amendment Act has been amended to raise the minimum sentence for illegal possession of copper from two years to a mandatory 10 years. According to the new Act, it is now mandatory for all copper dealers to have certificates of origin for the metal in their possession.