In 111 raids by the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) and the Guyana Police Force from January to June this year, 3921 illegal connections were detected and removed.
The raids were undertaken as part of the company’s intensified campaign to reduce electricity theft, GPL said in a release yesterday and it noted that so far 260 persons have been arrested for illegal diversion of electricity. The company, however, expressed frustration at the rate in which these cases are completed in the courts.
GPL stated that of a total of 2,760 persons arrested in 2007 for the diversion of electricity, 1,490 of these cases are still pending at various Magistrates’ Courts and only 549 persons have been convicted and fined, with some of the perpetrators given up to two years imprisonment.
The release said that the raids by GPL’s technical teams, led by members of the company’s Loss Reduction Department and the Guyana Police Force were conducted in communities along the East Bank, West Bank and East Coast of Demerara, Berbice, Georgetown and its outskirts.
According to GPL, it was found that Sophia and other Georgetown locations had the highest number of illegal connections detected and removed – totalling 2,410.
It pointed out that 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.