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“Gov’t Losses US$ 40M In Power Theft” …. Says Weah

By Grace Q. Bryant 

President George Weah has revealed that over the years power theft has led to a loss of over US$40 million which has threatened the sustainability of LEC and the reliable supply of electricity, and therefore the government will not accept any attempt to undermine these efforts. 

In his recent state of address, President said they will cooperate and successfully passed the Power Theft Act making power theft a second-degree felony. 

“I am therefore reminding all our citizens and foreign residents that power theft is a crime in Liberia,” he emphasized.

“My government has allocated significant budgetary support to realize the CLSG project, despite so many competing social demands and a limited fiscal space. We made this sacrifice because we strongly believe that our people deserve to have access to electricity. But electricity is not free, and we must all be good citizens and pay for the electricity we consume,” he noted.

He also applauded the Anti-Power Theft Team for their hard work and dedication and wish to assure the team of our fullest support for their efforts. 

President Weah added that The Power Theft Law seeks to address the increasing theft of electricity through illegal connections, tampering with meters and with transmission and distribution lines, as well as theft of LEC’s assets, including light poles, wires, and transformers.  

He maintained that it establishes a system of prohibitions and penalties to deal with electricity theft, for which Government intervention and protection is appropriate

The ability of LEC to engage in capital investment is also frustrated, and the corporation is constrained to rely on the support of international donor partners for needed capital investment, which is not sustainable.

 The Government of Liberia enacted a Power Theft Act which came into effect on the October 4, 2019.

The Act characterizes power theft as a national security threat, and establishes a system of prohibitions and penalties in relation to illegal connections; tampering with meters, transmission and distribution lines; and theft of LEC assets including meters, light poles, wires and transformers.

The Act makes all forms of power theft a Second-Degree Felony punishable by jail terms ranging from two years to seven years and fines ranging from US$400 to US$1000 for individuals found guilty.

For industrial and commercial entities and syndicates, the Act provides for a fine US$10,000 or doubles the gain from the commission of the crime, coupled with seizure and forfeiture of assets associated with the offense including vehicles, properties and bank accounts.

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