Eight arrested for stealing Econet cables

A total of eight suspects including a woman were arrested on Sunday by the Leribe Police for stealing Econet cables.

The suspects were arrested from different villages including Sebothoane, Khanyane and Mankoaneng.

Recently, there have been deliberate incidents of cutting and stealing underground and overhead telecommunications fibre and copper cables in several areas of the country but recently a huge and recurring damage happened in the Leribe district.

Vandalism of cables which provide telecommunication services has led to unavailability of services in affected areas. Among the affected areas in Leribe, the following suffered most due to unavailability and disturbed services, that is, Motebang Hospital, Ministry of Education, Department of Traffic and Lesotho Electricity Corporation offices.

Puleng Masoabi, Econet’s Public Relations Officer, said the arrest of the eight suspects was made possible by the help of villagers who tipped the police. “We therefore wish to take this opportunity to applaud members of the Leribe community who provided information that has been helpful to police investigations and led to the arrest of these perpetrators”.

Masoabi said that these acts of sabotage are disrupting provision of telecommunication services and inconveniencing thousands of customers who travel long distances to get the services and endanger the lives of patients at the hospitals. “We therefore wish to take this opportunity to applaud members of the Leribe community who provided information that has been helpful to police investigations and led to the arrest of these perpetrators”.

Vandalism and theft of telecommunication delivery infrastructure extends beyond the network damage. The damage results in service unavailability causing adverse impact on emergency services, significant impact on businesses using affected networks such as ATMs, security concerns and other vital communications in general.

“As Econet, we continue to appeal to the public to jealously guard the network infrastructure”