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Three contractors in Sydney are facing charges for their alleged involvement in stealing and unlawfully selling over 300 tonnes of copper wiring, with a potential resale value of up to $3.5 million. The arrests followed an investigation prompted by reports of contractors removing copper wiring from job sites and selling it to scrap metal collectors for profit, bypassing legitimate channels.

The suspects, aged 43, 48, and in his 30s, were arrested after police seized stolen copper wiring worth approximately $200,000 from a scrap yard in Ingleburn. Subsequent searches led to the discovery of an additional $105,000 worth of cabling at a property in Campbelltown. The investigation revealed that the three men had allegedly stolen a total of 350 tonnes of copper wiring since February.

Copper theft is not an isolated incident, as indicated by reports from Ausgrid detailing 74 separate incidents across the network in the past nine months. Detective Superintendent Gordon Arbinja emphasized the dangers associated with handling copper, classified as hazardous by Safe Work Australia due to its potential risks to health.

Authorities are intensifying efforts to combat copper theft and have warned both offenders and scrap metal merchants of the consequences. The case serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges posed by illicit trade in valuable scrap metals like copper.


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Article Title: Three contractors charged with stealing more than $3.5 million of copper from Sydney infrastructure sites
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