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Scrap iron dealers: Money laundering also plaguing local industry

The Scrap Iron Deal­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion says mon­ey laun­der­ing is al­so plagu­ing the lo­cal in­dus­try.


This was the claim made by as­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Al­lan Fer­gu­son yes­ter­day, while re­spond­ing to claims that a large num­ber of I-Beams and steel poles had been stolen from a Min­istry of Works and Trans­port’s site in Ca­roni. The ma­te­r­i­al was es­ti­mat­ed at $1 mil­lion.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

A cen­tral scrap iron yard was pin­point­ed in the in­ci­dent and of­fi­cers of the Ca­roni Po­lice Sta­tion and the Ch­agua­nas CID were able to solve the case. The yard is al­leged to be man­aged by for­eign na­tion­als

“Since 2013, we have been mak­ing the call for the Gov­ern­ment to look at the for­eign scrap iron deal­ers in Trinidad and To­ba­go and I have said this just re­cent­ly in a news con­fer­ence but I want to make it very clear Trinidad and To­ba­go, not all are this way be­cause some are my mem­bers and it is just a few among them that are do­ing this thing and that is why we are ask­ing the Gov­ern­ment how did they get their li­cens­ing and how they are run­ning scrap yards and these are the things we have to get as lo­cals and I am shocked how some of them are get­ting it,” Fer­gu­son said

He said on­ly last week he vis­it­ed the same scrap yard as this as­so­ci­a­tion was car­ry­ing out its man­date to reg­u­late the in­dus­try

He said, “If I see any­thing wrong, I will re­port it and I will re­main strong re­gard­less of the at­tempts to de­stroy me

“We vis­it­ed the yard last week be­cause it was a new yard that was opened and we told them what we would like them to do re­gard­ing the theft of ma­te­ri­als across the coun­try and they on­ly joined our as­so­ci­a­tion last week. We in­formed them about il­le­gal items and look what is hap­pen­ing this week.”

Fer­gu­son claimed peo­ple are laun­der­ing mon­ey in “our in­dus­try and we are al­so propos­ing a le­gal frame­work to pro­tect the in­dus­try from these types of ac­tiv­i­ties.”

“It is those bent on break­ing the law who are af­ter me and I want the Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try, who has the in­for­ma­tion, to look in­to who is ex­port­ing cop­per out of the coun­try and it is easy to point out who is com­mit­ting these crimes,” Fer­gu­son said

He said peo­ple cut­ting the wires and steal­ing in­fra­struc­ture across the coun­try al­so know who buys these prod­ucts. The as­so­ci­a­tion will roll out stick­ers for its mem­bers so the pub­lic will know le­git­i­mate mem­bers soon