Ecotrade Group Advocates Better Regulations to Fight Catalytic Converter Theft – Yahoo Finance

NEGERI SEMBILAN, Malaysia, Feb. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Ecotrade, the leading recycler of catalytic converters in south-east Asia including Malaysia, would like to see the Malaysian authorities introduce new measures that would deter the theft of catalytic converters from roadworthy vehicles.
This criminal activity has been rife in the USA and some Western European countries for several years, but is now expanding in Malaysia, where there is currently little legislation to prove ownership of catalytic converters, thus making it simple for thieves to sell them on.
Catalytic converters are fitted to virtually all vehicles across the globe in order to comply with increasingly tight legislation on fuel emissions. Each contains a small, yet valuable, quantity of the precious metals, platinum, palladium, and rhodium (platinum group metals), that act as the catalysts in the conversion of noxious gases to less harmful emissions. Demand for the precious metals has increased enormously this century and the recycling of scrap catalysts has become a sizable and profitable industry, also playing an important environmental role in the recovery of the rare precious metals. Now, though, some criminal enterprises are profiting from the demand for "old" catalytic converters by removing them from roadworthy vehicles.
The reasons behind this increase in catalytic converter theft in Malaysia are many: –
– the increased usage of the platinum group metals, together with reduced output from South African mines due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, has led to a surge in market prices, particularly over the past 2 years. This in turn has led to a rise in the value of scrap catalysts which can be worth up to 2,000 Ringgits (c. USD 480) each.
– the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to increased levels of unemployment, and some, in desperation, have turned to criminal activity to survive. It takes no more than an electric saw and a couple of minutes to remove a catalytic converter from its vehicle, minimizing the risk of capture.
– few, if any, security measures are taken by car owners to protect catalytic converters, making the task simpler. As well, an abundance of street parking with minimal CCTV coverage makes it less likely for thieves getting caught.
Whist the authorities recognize the growing problem, a lack of legislation specific to the theft of catalytic converters has led to unfortunate occurrences where innocent employees of professional and honest operators have been detained. Ecotrade, for example, has seen members of its management team detained on three separate occasions over the past 18 months for no specific reason, and later released without charge.
The company has built its longstanding success on an honest and transparent reputation and has developed stringent "Know Your Customer" (KYC) rules to ensure it only deals with reputable traders. It applauds the focus by the authorities on stamping out the theft of catalytic converters but believes that the Malaysian authorities should commit to three simple measures that would go a long way towards deterring criminal activity: –
– make it a compulsory legal requirement that all sellers must be registered professionals in the automotive industry.
– make it a compulsory legal requirement that all buyers and recycling companies must hold a specific license to operate in the scrap catalytic converter industry.
– forbid all cash transactions throughout the industry.
These steps would substantially reduce the opportunity for the theft of catalysts; once the thieves realize that there is no market for their ill-gotten gains, the activity would disappear. At the same time, it would demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability – the recovery of platinum, palladium and rhodium from the properly managed recycling of scrap catalytic converters reduces the invasive mining of these increasingly rare commodities.
The authorities need to ensure that the war against catalytic converter theft is carried out by implementing appropriate laws, rather than by blindly and unfairly prosecuting reputable companies. This would then allow these companies to operate in a safe and positive environment, for the good of all law-abiding members of the industry.
SOURCE Ecotrade Group
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