Lagos Police Round Up ​Fibre Optic Cable Thieves

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Fibre Thieves
Fibre Thieves
Security officials in Lagos, Nigeria have picked up five suspected telecom fibre optic cable thieves at Ikoyi, TechEconomy.ng has reported.
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The policemen were on patrol of Oyinkan Abayomi, off Alexander Road, Ikoyi, when they accosted five of the Fibre Optic Cable vandalism suspects standing beside a white VW T4 bus with registration number, KTU 357 YF.

Upon close observation, the police discovered that the men had dug up a 20-metre-long telecom cable of 10431 (type), which they were about to move into the white bus.

The police also found two diggers and two shovels in the possession of the five, according to this blog post by the police Rapid Response Squad (RRS).

The suspects are Yekini Mohammed (52), Mohammed Abdullahi (37), Tukur Mukaila (42), Abdulrazaq Abdulrahmon (25) and Danladi Nura (45).

Upon interrogation, the driver of the bus, Yekini Mohammed explained that he was invited to the location by Mohammed Abdulahi and Tukru Mukailu, both of whom are scrap metal dealers, to pick up some scrap metals at different locations in Victoria Island and Ikoyi for delivery at Lakulaku, Obalende, where they sell them to clients.

Mohammed Abdulahi told the police they did not dig up and cut the cable, but they found it at the spot they were arrested, and they called the driver to come help them covey it to where they sell their wares.

The police recovered the vandalized and stolen cable, the equipment they used in digging it up and the bus they intended to use in conveying the stolen items.

Commenting on the development, the Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi directed that the case be transferred to the State SCID, Panti for further investigation and prosecution.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC’s) had earlier this month indicated that over 50,000 cases of major destruction to telecom infrastructure and facilities have been reported across the country in the past five years, raising an alarm over the implication of these incidents to the quality of telecom services.

Ghana

In Ghana, the mouthpiece of the telecom industry players on regulatory issues, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GCT) have been reporting thousands of cases of fibre cuts, which affect the quality of service, harm the reputation of the operators and also cost them a fortune for repairs.

They main culprits in Ghana are not necessarily cable thieves, but rather government-appointed road contractors and private real estate developers who often use their heavy-duty equipment to damage telecom as well as water and power supply equipment.

Often when it happens, government moves in and fixes the water and power supply equipment but leave the damaged telecom infrastructure for telcos to fix, even though they originally hard paid-for permits to install those infrastructure.

But now government has classified all telecom infrastructure as National Security Infrastructure and they are therefore protected by law, which means now any person or entity that destroys telecom infrastructure will be held liable for it and will bear the cost of fixing it plus other consequences as provided by the law.

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