The Special Investigation and Prosecution Taskforce on Electricity Offences (SIPTEO) North West zone has apprehended seven persons who specialise in metre cloning, theft, vandalism and other energy crimes in Kaduna.
Parading the suspects at their Kaduna office on Monday, the Head SIPTEO North West zone, ASP Aliyu Bamalli, said the suspects cloned 13 meters from two thereby ensuring that only two meters are being serviced to provide energy for the others.
He disclosed that two of the syndicates were still on the run and are being trailed.
According to ASP Bamalli, the suspects who committed the offence in Barnawa Kaduna South Local Government Area (LGA) were trailed and eventually arrested following a consistent report of energy theft, vandalism and other crimes hampering the effectiveness of their service delivery by Kaduna Electric.
Those arrested are Gambo Saidu, who stole the meters, Illiya Maigari, who receives the stolen meters from Gambo, Alex Zamani (the chief cloner), Solomon Luka, who sells the meter to the customers, Joseph Stephen, a technician, Monday Joseph, who also sells meters to customers and Francis Ahmadu.
ASP Bamalli said the suspects cloned two metres into 13 metres using the same number thus ensuring that anytime the cloned meters are recharged, the other meters will also be recharged with the same token automatically, adding that the suspects arrested are still being investigated for prosecution.
“We succeeded in arresting the syndicate following diligent investigation and manhunt, because we worked with Electricity Distribution Companies to safeguard them against energy theft. There is another syndicate using devices to generate tokens,” he said.
The Head of Marketing of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Abubakar Jimeta said the company is losing thousands of energy units that runs into hundreds of millions of naira monthly.
He said the power theft was part of the reasons why postpaid customers, whose bills are estimated, often pay more than they actually consume.
Also speaking, the Head of Operations Engr. Aliyu Abass said once a cloned meter is recharged, the other meters cloned from it would equally be recharged.
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He assured that Kaduna Electric would continue to do their best in partnership with SIPTEO in the provision of improved power supply to their franchise states.