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Power Theft - Electrician Caught Red Handed Helping Massage Parlour Operator
Electrician Caught Red Handed in Power Theft Involvement with Massage Parlour Operator at Tabuan Tranquility
KUCHING, 2 AUGUST 2019, FRIDAY: A 20-year old electrician was caught red-handed assisting a massage parlour business operator steal electricity at Tabuan Tranquility recently. The operator had been connecting power supply illegally to the three-storey parlour since early this year without any electricity meter by repetitively tampering with the electricity incoming main-wirings, assisted by the electrician.
The electrician was in the process of connecting wires when the arrest was made by the anti-power theft team consisting of personnel from Sarawak Energy’s utility arm, Syarikat SESCO Berhad (SESCO), Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of the Ministry of Utilities and the Police. The operation followed a public tip-off and surveillance of the premises over the past few months.
The electrician was remanded by the police at the Tabuan Jaya Police Station while his supervisor was also called in by the police to assist in the investigation, under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance for stealing electricity.
As the massage parlour operator had never applied for proper electricity supply connection, the safety of the wiring was questionable as no proper testing in accordance with the standards and safety requirements was done by SESCO. This can cause fire to the building or put others in danger of electrocution.
Based on past records, the operator is a repeat offender of power theft. Despite having the illegal supply disconnected six times previously, the operator continued to steal electricity.
In the recent operation, it was discovered that the supply was reconnected through the same method by incoming main-wirings to all three floors of the premises. All illegal wirings were immediately disconnected and dismantled by Sarawak Energy’s technical team.
During the operation, the electrical load for the premises was measured and estimated to cost around RM4000-RM5000 per month. The actual amount could have been higher considering that the measurement was taken in the morning, which is business off peak hour.
Sarawak Energy through EIU and the State Attorney General chambers is taking legal action and will charge the operator for the cost of electricity stolen.
This is the second power theft case at Tabuan Tranquility area this year. The first case happened early this year in a housing estate in which the premises owner was also caught red-handed. Prosecution preparation for the first case is underway.
Sarawak Energy will continue to work closely with EIU and the Police and reminds its customers that this illegal activity is a crime under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of RM100,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment if found guilty.
Stealing electricity also endangers lives and causes damage to customers’ properties including electrical appliances which may lead to fire.
To curb this dangerous crime, Sarawak Energy is also actively carrying out meter inspections and investigation operations throughout Sarawak together with the Ministry of Utilities and the Police.
Members of the public can report on any power theft information via the Sarawak Energy hotline at 082-443535. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Direct connection from the main-wirings to the isolators without an electricity meter
Close-up of the direct connection (black) wires illegally tapped from the incoming main-wirings connected to the premises’ isolator supplying to the massage parlour (ground, 1st and 2nd floors)
Sarawak Energy’s technicians dismantling the direct connection wirings.