NEWS & UPDATES
Another Cryptocurrency Centre Hidden on Private Land in Miri Found Stealing Electricity
Public Urged to Report Suspicious Activities at Abandoned Buildings in their Vicinity
1 JULY 2021
Police-led power theft surveillance team and Sarawak Energy technical team discovered another cryptocurrency mining centre in a makeshift hut on private land in Jalan Bakam, Miri on Saturday (June 26). Twenty-Eight mining machines worth RM162,000 were seized from the makeshift hut.
Like the discovery at Jalan Padang Kerbau last Friday, the team also found crypto mining servers, internet modem and non-standard wiring connection connected directly to the nearby overhead line without having a meter. This poses the danger of electrocution to the public with the unsafe structure and unsafe wirings. Sarawak Energy does not approve electricity connection with unsafe wirings or to any unstable structures due to the potential hazard posed to the public.
All the items were dismantled and seized as evidence and a police report was lodged over the incident. Police are also looking for the landowner to assist in the investigation. Sarawak Energy will continue to widen the search to track down cryptocurrency/ bitcoin operation premises that steal electricity.
Based on previous cases, power theft activities are closely related to cryptocurrency mining activities and the current modus operandi is using abandoned houses or huts to avoid detection. Those involved with this activity would tap electricity supply directly from the overhead lines and use the supply for free at the expense of the safety of others. Tampered wirings can lead to electrocution to the public at large who may not know the existence of electricity cables in their vicinity.
Cryptocurrency operation requires a substantial amount of energy which needs to run 24 hours. Direct connection to the overhead lines will cause overload to the electricity network system and eventually lead to unnecessary outages or low voltages that could damage appliances to the nearby customers.
Unregistered electricity consumption is regarded as stealing electricity in Sarawak - a criminal offence under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years jail if found guilty. Unsafe wiring connections pose a serious safety risk due to the potential threat of electrical fire and electrocution.
Sarawak Energy customers are constantly reminded never to compromise on electrical safety as stealing electricity do not guarantee them quick gains, but it is a hazardous risk to many. Non-Standard wirings and illegal connections pose a serious risk to the public at large as those in the vicinity of power theft activities can easily fall victim to fire and electrocution due to this dangerous crime.
Customers are also reminded not to trust service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow premises owners to enjoy limitless electricity through meter tampering as meter inspection teams are trained to detect tampered meters, including fake electricity meter covers, as part of Sarawak Energy's efforts to curb power theft.
As such, Sarawak Energy appreciates the support from members of the public and encourages reporting of cryptocurrency mining activities at the neighbourhood or abandoned buildings to Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All information received will be kept strictly confidential.
This makeshift hut was used for cryptocurrency mining activity.
A total of 28 crypto mining servers found in the hut.
The technical team found cables in PVC pipes connected directly to the overhead line.