Useful traffic growing

Useful traffic growing

Thefts of copper, metal, aluminum and steel

Theft of copper, aluminum and other metal cables is becoming increasingly important and causes serious damage to the national economy in general and in particular to public companies, such as Sonelgaz, SNTF, Algérie Telecom, mobile telephony operators, local authorities and even to citizens. , causing huge financial losses and penalties to hundreds of thousands of households with internet and electricity networks. Every year, more than 50 tons of ferrous products and 10 tons of copper are stolen in Algeria. A dead loss for the national economy.

Each year, the damage caused by copper theft is estimated at more than 10 million euros, of which public companies are the real victims. Similarly, local authorities are particularly victims of these thefts, which strain their budget and lead to delays in the work they are carrying out on the copper cable network supply plan.
In contrast, the SNCF, the preferred target of this type of offense, has been hit hard by copper thefts for many years; these railway networks are regularly visited by thieves of copper and metal cable.
For the year 2019 alone, about 50 tonnes of ferrous product and nearly 5,000 kg of copper were stolen, with many thefts committed in many regions of the country. In recent years, urban agglomerations such as popular neighborhoods, where various public facilities have been planted, including banks, bars, power poles, bus shelters, drains, and much more, has become a more preferred target. thieves of copper and metal, looking late for money at all costs.
This is how acts of theft of public facilities began to emerge as a major new political and security phenomenon in the city. Clearly for example, in Ouled Fayet, a town located west of Algiers, unknown people stole, last Saturday night, metal bars planted by a public company to decorate the urban aesthetics of the City’s housing. 980 AADL 3. A heinous act which, unfortunately, has spread to affect other targets, public companies.

2.4 km of copper stolen in a few hours in Béchar!
In February 2022, the province of Béchar located in the south of the country, was the scene of the largest copper theft committed in decades. More than 2.4 km of copper cables from the telephone network (landline and internet) were stolen in just a few hours! The thefts took place in several districts of the town of Béchar, announced the operational management of Algérie Telecom in this region.
These thefts, which punished more than 1,000 homes and other public structures, network subscribers, resulted in cuts in a dozen neighborhoods and groups in the city and caused huge financial losses to the company, has defined the public operator. The thieves also robbed 300 linear meters of telephone and internet connection network in the capital of the border town of Lahmar (60 km north of Béchar), causing a semi-general cut in connections. Complaints were filed by many victims, including Algérie Telecom and Sonelgaz, with security services to expose the perpetrators of these thefts.

Economic operators behind the huge copper traffic
In the 90s, and in their efforts to find, at all costs, financial resources, terrorist groups thought to steal copper and telephone cables to sell them to Europe and the Middle East and get money. A few years later, some local economy operators acted the same way. The dismantling in October 2018 of an extensive international network in the Port of Algiers of the Research Section of the National Gendarmerie of Bir Mourad Rais, made it possible to shed light on a wide-ranging organized crime targeted not only at public companies but also in the national economy. The operation of the Research Section of the Bir Mourad Rais Company under the National Gendarmerie Group of Algiers made it possible to arrest 12 suspected traffickers, including the owner of a one-person limited liability company (EURL) that specializes in trafficking. recycling and exporting of plastic waste, while nearly 64 tons of copper were seized.
The traffickers arrested in this case are between 30 and 50 years old, they are the ones behind the theft of several hundred tons of copper in some regions of the country.
The investigation conducted by the gendarmes of Bir Mourad Rais found traceability of stolen Algerian cables, these very expensive materials (10,000 dollars per ton) were fraudulently exported to a European country and neighboring countries and it, through the Port of Alger. Algiers Gendarmerie indicated that it is an international professional network engaged in the international smuggling of materials prohibited for export, such as copper scrap and telephone wiring.
According to the investigation by the gendarmes of the Research Section, the masterminds of the international criminal network were an economic operator and his accomplice, the so -called Ch. N and LM. Port from Algiers to Europe and neighboring countries.

Copper stolen in Algeria brings happiness to Europe
According to the Groupement de la Gendarmerie d’Alger, the two cities planned several copper export operations in Europe, establishing an organized company specializing in the export of plastics, but in reality they hid of an illegal activity, that of copper trafficking of which hundreds of thousands. of the tonne was sent to Europe in exchange for the large amount of foreign currency received in each export operation.
Through a legal activity and authorized by a commercial register, the international network led by an economic operator has conducted numerous operations to export the stolen plastic residues to Europe, a very good copper traffic.
The investigation by the gendarmes of the Bir Mourad Rais Company revealed that in the flow of several tons of stolen copper into Europe, traffickers of the international network sent several containers full of copper waste, camouflaged by plastic bags so as not to arouse suspicions in the services of Customs and of inspection and monitoring.
The criminal travel of the said network took place in October 2018 when the gendarmes of the Company of Bir Mourad Rais searched three containers stored at the level of the Port of Algiers under the name of the target company. The gendarmes found and recovered 60,480 kilograms of copper waste ready to be exported to a European country.
These tons of copper were carefully hidden inside containers, where bags full of plastic waste were stored in front of the goods to prevent surveillance by security services. During the searches, the gendarmes recovered another quantity of copper, even 3,490 kilos carefully hidden in a depot owned by said company, a EURL (Unipersonal Limited Liability Company).

Climbing a pole
to steal copper, he receives 3,000 volts
Thefts of copper, aluminum and metal wiring have reached alarming proportions in the country’s major cities. The culprits are usually young individuals who come together in the form of a trafficking network and then act by targeting various public facilities, structures and equipment.
Last March, a thief of power cables died after being hit by a huge electric shock, it was a youth who was electrocuted in the commune of Boukhanefis, 16 km away from the province of Sidi Bel-Abbès.
The culprit received an electrical charge of approximately 3,000 volts. According to witnesses, he climbed the city’s electricity pole to cut, using scissors, copper cables to carry them and then sell.
However, the shock of the electric shock drove the young thief from the pole to the ground, his body eventually burned. Unfortunately, this type of offense targeting public facilities is repeated almost everywhere in the country’s major cities.
In Naâma, the National Gendarmerie brigade of Moghrar was contacted a few weeks ago by phone with a resident of the village Sidi Brahim, commune of Moghrar, who reported the presence of criminals in the process of cutting the cables. of an old power line supplying the said town, to a place called El-Chaâba in the locality.
Immediately alerted, the gendarmes of the said territorial brigade, moved to the scene, where after the investigation they arrested near the said village a 28-year-old man, aboard a truck, holding ninety-five (95) kg of copper wiring, scissors and saw.
Somewhat far from Naâma, this time in Oran, and during the patrol on RN.12, which connects Oran with Sidi Bel-Abbès, in the communal district of Hassi-Mefsoukh, the gendarmes of the local brigade, he A few days ago, two 25-year-olds were delivering thirty-five (35) quintals of copper waste aboard a truck.
In December 2021, police officers of the 2nd Urban Security of the Sidi Bel-Abbès province succeeded in arresting an individual aged 30, in flagrante delicto holding 32 kg of copper. Police moved based on information related to an intrusion by an individual into a public company to steal copper.
Sofiane Abi

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