Ethiopian Electric Utility says more than 6.7 million birr worth of infrastructure has been looted in just three months.
The Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) says it is working to attract 1 million new customers every year, but repeated theft of infrastructure has hampered it.
In particular, the current political instability in Ethiopia has been used as an opportunity to plunder infrastructure.
Abebe Tesfa, director of legal affairs at the institute, said the robbery of electrical infrastructure is mostly done in Addis Ababa.
“This is the detriment of the institution and hurts the beneficiary community.” He mentioned.
He cited, for instance, 21 of the 36 infrastructure and energy theft crimes committed in the first quarter of the 2014 Ethiopian budget year in Addis Ababa.
He recalled that 138 of the 241 crimes committed in the past budget year were committed in Addis Ababa.
The robbery of light rail infrastructure in Addis Ababa since May 2020 has also increased, he said.
He said 13 suspects arrested in connection with the crime have been brought to justice.
He also said that theft of infrastructure, tampering with the meter for fraudulent consumption of electricity, and illegal laying of lines were criminal offenses and punishable by five to 15 years in prison.