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Illegal scrap metal dealers’ days numbered

The Scrap Metal Council (SMC) has sternly warned all illegal scrap metal dealers that they will be dealt with severely.

Speaking during a media briefing at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) building Thursday, SMC chairperson Francis Mugo clearly stated that the constitution prohibits anyone who is unlicensed from operating in the scrap metal industry.

Lately, the country has witnessed an upsurge of vandalism on both public and private infrastructure, with the vice being attributed to illegal players in the scrap metal industry who are using fake licenses.

While warning the illegal dealers, Mugo quoted Section 9(1) of the Constitution that states: “A person shall not deal in scrap metal, unless that person has a license issued by the council and is a member of the Scrap Metal Dealers Association.”

“After reported cases of smuggling on the borders of Busia, Lungalunga, and Namanga, we are closely monitoring all players in the industry,” added Mugo.

In order to work effectively, Mugo stated, SMC will liaise with the Inspector General of Police and Commissioner General of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

“We have revoked the license of Triple Seven Collectors Limited with immediate effect. Smugglers and all those dealing in the scrap industry without licenses risk being arrested and having their businesses closed,” warned Mugo.

He said the council was also in the process of gazetting inspectors who will monitor activities in the industry nationwide.

SMC vice chairperson, Bobby Johnson said that the council was working towards putting strict guidelines in place to facilitate the labeling of metals in companies, among them Kenya Power (KP), to ease the tracing of stolen properties in the event vandals try to sell them as scrap.

He added that in the proposed guidelines, parastatals that need to dispose of metals will have to consult them before doing so. This will help in identifying metals that will proceed as scrap and those that will be returned to industries as raw materials.

“The SMC is ready to go an extra mile to efficiently deliver on its mandate to cooperate and collaborate with relevant authorities,” Johnson added.

By Enrica Amisi and Phinta Amondi

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