Court orders cable vandals to pay $50,000 in fines

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad - Two men from South Trinidad pleaded guilty to stealing TSTT cables and were ordered to pay fines totalling $50,000 (fifty thousand dollars) for the offence. The men appeared before Magistrate Margaret Alert in the Princes Town Second Magistrate's Court on Friday 8th July and were given 30 days to pay fines of $25,000 each or face up to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour.

The men, NAVIN BOODHAI (22) of #24 Bartto Trace, Brothers Road and RAMESH RAMSUMAIR (18) of # 15 Donmore Branch Road, Brothers Road, were arrested on July 4th 2011 following investigations into the theft of several metres of TSTT cable from poles on Brothers Road. Their arrest stemmed from an incident on July 2nd when at around 1.25 am, cable cutting activity in the Brothers Road area triggered TSTT’s internal network alarms. TSTT security personnel responded and conducted two days of intensive investigations which eventually lead them to the suspects. The men were apprehended and taken to the Tableland Police Station where they were formally charged under section 69-1 of the Telecommunications Act for Malicious Damage to TSTT cables valued at $12,247.20.

“We are very pleased with this judgement as it represents one of the strongest penalties imposed on cable vandals in recent times” said Edghill Messiah, TSTT’s Executive Vice President with responsibility for company security. “I think it sends the right signal to would-be vandals because their actions are extremely disruptive and the inconvenience to homes and businesses is incalculable. This outcome certainly makes us feel our hard work to safeguard public communications is well worth it.”