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Higher copper price spurs increase in thefts

Published lördag 21 april 2012 kl 16.55
A drainage pipe targeted by thieves in Stockholm. Photo: Agneta Styrman/TT/Scanpix

The government has proposed that the buyers of copper, rather than those selling it, should be forced to pay the Value Added Tax of the transaction. The move is meant target the current illegal market spurred on by a hike in copper prices.

Thefts of copper have increased and the Swedish railway system by its own calculations loses US$18 million a year to copper thieves, who rip up cables as well as pinching pipes and wrenching off drainage pipes.

The news agency TT notes that there is no estimate of how much it costs the train companies when they are forced to cancel or delay departures as a direct effect of the thefts.

Electricians, construction companies and recycling facilities and private homes also report having copper stolen.

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