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Beware: Criminals now operate as scrap vendors

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BUYING and Selling of metal scrap, as well as  its recycling can be a profitable business. People can make a lot of money out of it, although of a reality, to buy and sell scrap metals from waste dumps seems a very dirty business with meager revenue and mostly meant for people of low lives but it is worth doing as economy of Nigeria is fluctuating.

 Scraps are meant to be materials or objects that are no longer used for the purpose they were made for but can be used again in another way. Such scraps can be gotten from old cars, machines. But recently, scrap vendors now move around homes, workshops, new building sites at odd times to steal people’s properties made from metals, damage such properties, weigh and sell as scraps to companies.

Narrating his ordeal, a panel beater who has a shop  close to Mountain of Fire Church,    Amawbia, Anambra State, Oketa Uduma, said, “I lost my spraying machine and other metals I kept in my workshop to do people’s work. Even other panel beaters and mechanics around my shop experienced losing one costly metal or the other purchased to work for our customers to thieves who came as scrap vendors at odd times around our workshops to pick metals.

  Stating further, Uduma said “ It is painful as we are suffering. When you receive part payment to work for a customer, and you purchase costly parts to repair damaged vehicles, while you will be busy working, scrap vendors would come around to carry such materials we bought to work for customers”.

  “Some customers used to be patient with us while others  go as far as making case with the panel beater”

  Uduma pointed out and explained that “We have mounted surveillance and caught some of these scrap vendors with materials we bough.They stole, squeezed and sold them less the price we bought them”.

When asked how they handled those who stole from them, Uduma said, “sometimes we beat and  warn them never to come to our workshop any longer.”

  Continuing, Uduma said, “ the day we caught a female scrap vendor picking our materials, it was agreed that she should not be beaten but was seriously warned, but the warning fell into deaf ears, as the same woman beat our security, locked her two children up in her house and came to steal around 5am on a Sunday in our workshop. But luck ran out of her as she was caught and was made to direct us where she  sells her scraps. After all said and done, the man who bought the stolen materials was asked to pay for the items discovered with him but he had already squeezed them to dispose.”

  Lamenting over her sad experience, a widow, who lives at Nibo, Awka South Local Govt. Area, Anambra State narrated that her younger son  sold almost all her cooking pots and other metal valuables at give away prices to these scrap vendors who roam about cities and local areas looking for what to steal and buy. I thank God who had delivered my son, he is no longer doing .”

  Contributing, a Pastor  said, “I was shocked as it was discovered that every rod visible from pillars that are holding all church buildings under construction were neatly cut and made away with by scrap vendors.”

  Another woman complained that after making use of her kettle to boil water in the morning, it was dropped close to her doorpost and  later in the day when she looked for her kettle, it was missing and has been picked as scrap  when scrap vendors came around during the day.

  An expert in scrap business suggests that scrap vendors should always meet the owners of scrap metals, discuss the price before carrying and while selling, they should sell to the highest bidder as copper and aluminium are more valuable than steel.

  It is worth mentioning that as people roam about every nook and crannies of the country in search of scrap, that security agencies, including local vigilantes should start to monitor scrap vendors as thieves now disguise themselves as scrap vendors stealing people’s property when they  go out for work.   

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