Vegetable Farm Operator In Sibu Caught For Repeatedly Stealing Electricity

KUCHING, 15 MAY 2019, WEDNESDAY – A commercial vegetable farm operator at Jalan Oya, Sibu was caught stealing electricity by illegally tapping supply from a nearby service pole, in a recent power theft crackdown.

In the joint operation conducted with the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Police, it was found that the farm illegally connected its supply directly from the transformer at the service pole, bypassing the meter.

Acting on a public tip off Sarawak Energy, since March this year, has been monitoring the operator who had committed the crime on numerous occasions in the past. Sarawak Energy has put the farm operator on its surveillance list for power theft and was working with the police in building a case against the operator.

A spokesperson of Sarawak Energy utility arm, Syarikat SESCO Berhad, said, “The illegal connections with exposed wirings are a safety hazard. There is a risk of electrocution and this may also cause a fire. The public is reminded that power theft is a dangerous crime.”

The farm also accommodates a barrack for its immigrant workers which is equipped with air-conditioned units. All illegal connections were dismantled and seized as evidence during the raid.

Power theft is still rampant in Sarawak and Sarawak Energy will continue to work closely with EIU, Police and other enforcement agencies to intensify its operation on all identified targets in the state. Sarawak Energy is also looking into technologies that will effectively detect power theft activities to curb this crime.

Sarawak Energy would like to remind the public that stealing electricity is a dangerous crime. 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’ jail or both.

Sarawak Energy would like to thank the public for their assistance and continuously seeks their cooperation to continue reporting suspicious activities via its dedicated hotline at 082-443535. All information will be treated strictly confidential.

The illegal connection (blue & black cables) tapping from the pole-mounted transformer’s neutral cable tail and pole-mounted fuse (encircled in red) going directly into the farm.

SESCO Meter Inspection team preparing to disconnect the direct tapping witnessed by EIU personnel.

The disconnection of direct tapping in progress.

SESCO Meter Inspection team confiscate the connection cable at the farm assisted by Police.