Operators of Renowned Local Supermarket Chain in Sibu Caught Stealing Electricity Again

Similar offence previously committed at other outlets in Sarikei, Miri and Bintulu

SIBU, 15 FEBRUARY 2019, FRIDAY:  Sarawak Energy’s utility arm, Syarikat SESCO Berhad (SESCO)’s close surveillance on power theft activities has led to another raid involving a local supermarket chain in Ulu Sungai Merah and Sibu Jaya recently. 

The Executive Operation was carried out by SESCO’s technicians and Auxiliary Police, after obtaining warrant to search from the Magistrate.

Similar tampering method was discovered at both locations where the electricity meters covers and security seals were disturbed, enabling tampering to the electronic components inside the meters. This resulted in the meters registering less electricity consumption in the monthly bills. 

Police reports have been lodged for further investigation on both outlets.

All the tampered meters were sent to the meter laboratory in Kuching for further analysis and to be used as evidence in court.

The supermarket chain which is popular for its super low prices is included in SESCO’s close supervision list for repeated power theft offences, particularly in Sibu, Sarikei, Miri and Bintulu.

Its outlet in Bintulu was found stealing power several times over the past few years while the case involving its outlet in Sarikei happened in December last year.  Whereas in Sibu, this is the second offence for both outlets.

SESCO has opened investigation papers for all the offences and are working together with the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of the Ministry of Utilities and State Attorney General Office (SAG) to prosecute the operators in court.

For previous three offences involving the supermarket outlet in Sarikei, civil claims were filed against the operator and the court ruled in favour of SESCO. The operator was instructed to pay a total of RM199,000.00 arrears bill to SESCO.

SESCO is intensifying its efforts to mitigate the increase of power theft cases especially at commercial premises by doubling its inspections and Executive Operations throughout the state and will continue to work closely with the police and EIU.

Stealing electricity is a crime that not only endangers lives but can also damage customers’ electrical appliances and even cause fire to the premises.

Those found guilty of stealing electricity will be charged under Section 33 (5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of RM100,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment.

Sarawak Energy reminds the public not to trust any service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills and allowing business owners to enjoy limitless electricity usage. The service providers are duping business owners into committing a crime where the owners would be held responsible for power theft.

Sarawak Energy also seeks public cooperation to continue reporting suspicious electricity theft activities via its dedicated hotline at 082-443535. All information will be treated strictly confidential.

SESCO inspection team checking the meter at the supermarket chain in Sibu Jaya

The disturbed mark (red circle) found at one of the meter front cover seals.