‘Ipa’ says vendors not stealing electricity

The President of the Vendors Association, Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac has described as untrue, reports that members of the association are stealing electricity in the vendors arcade.

“What happened is that there were persons who had outlets and  they said that some of them could not have afforded to pay for the outlets after a period of time – the outlets were costing something like $30 per month, so they discontinued,” Isaac explained.

“What happened is that there were some people who came in there and they were doing repairing of wires because there was something that was causing fluctuations,” he said.

According to Isaac, because of the problem some sections of the vendors arcade were getting electricity while others were without power.

He told the Times that employees of the Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) were among those conducting the repairs.

Isaac said that as a result of the work, some outlets that had been ‘blocked’ began to receive power again.

The Vendors Association President told the Times that some people who realised that power had returned to the outlets began charging their mobile telephones there.

“I don’t think that anybody ran any wire anywhere and tried to steal anything,”  Isaac declared.

He spoke after Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, on Monday sent a stern warning to vendors and tenants of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) against tapping electricity illegally.

A CCC statement said the warning followed reports of illegal connections at the Vendors Arcade.

 The statement quoted Section 62 of the Electricity Supply Act  as stating that if any person without legal right, the proof of which shall be upon him or her, abstracts or causes to be abstracted, or diverts or causes to be diverted, any electricity, or consumes or uses any such electricity, knowing the same to have been wrongfully or unlawfully abstracted or diverted, such person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a period not exceeding 12 months.