A lawmaker has presented a legislative proposal that would punish electricity theft with up to 10 years in prison.
The objective of Morena party Senator and energy commission chairman Armando Guadiana’s bill is to protect the transmission and distribution of electricity.
“Although the federal government initiated a head-on fight against the theft of gasoline, there are still no guidelines for the theft of electricity, even as this problem damages state coffers by millions of pesos,” says the text of the bill.
It proposes a penalty of three to 10 years in prison and a fine of over 1 million pesos (US $52,000). It would also include fines totaling three times the amount of what would have been charged for the illegally consumed energy.
The law would also apply to anyone impeding or intimidating a public servant engaged in suspending service to someone involved in the criminal use of electricity.
It proposes a prison sentence of two to 20 years for the use of Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) services without a contract, or for tampering with meters.
Lastly, it includes a prison sentence of six to 10 years and fine of over 1 million pesos for anyone who illegally commercializes CFE services and installations.
The Senate Energy Commission will discuss and vote on the bill, and if passed, it will be voted on in the plenary session.
The Federal Electricity Commission lost 25.7 billion pesos to illegal connections in the first half of last year.
Source: El Financiero (sp)