Teams from the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) have made a surprising discovery in their ongoing clampdown on electricity theft. During an operation in Portland it was revealed that residents living in an informal squatter settlement by the Old Port Antonio Marina fishing village, were benefiting from illegal connections which were hidden in the sea. The discovery was made after fishermen complained that they had received electric shocks in the water. JPS crew who were searching the area, located an illegal wire along the shore line.
Further investigations led them to two more illegal wires: one 15 feet and the other 35 feet below the sea. The illegal wires supplied electricity to more than 20 houses. JPS said it appears that the lines may have been in the water for some time, as removal was hampered by seaweed and other growth, which had fastened them to the seabed.
Two arrests were made following the find. Of those arrested in Portland since the start of the year, 40 have pleaded guilty and sentenced to fines ranging from J$10,000-J$70,000 dollars or prison terms ranging from 30 days to three months.