NEWS & UPDATES
Another Cryptocurrency Mining Center at Housing Area Caught Stealing Electricity
11 SEPTEMBER 2021
A recent operation between Sarawak Energy Berhad and the Police led to the discovery of a cryptocurrency mining centre in a semi-detached house at Jalan Bakam in Miri.
A total of 49 units of cryptocurrency mining servers worth approximately RM245,000 and an internet modem were found at the time of the raid. Sarawak Energy’s technical team inspected the site and found evidence of electricity theft – illegal direct tapping cables from the mains wiring connected directly to the cryptocurrency mining machines. The investigation team also found illegal connections that were hidden in the ceiling of the premises.
The mining activities in this building are estimated to have cost Sarawak Energy about RM8,200 of ‘stolen’ electricity a month. All cryptocurrency mining machines were seized by the Police and illegal direct tapping cables dismantled as evidence of electricity theft. A police report has been lodged for further investigation.
The owner of the premises will be charged for electricity theft, which is a criminal offence under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance and carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years jail if found guilty.
Cryptocurrency mining operations require a substantial amount of energy as they run 24 hours. Direct connection to the overhead lines can cause overload to the electrical network system and lead to unnecessary outages or low voltages that could damage appliances and affect nearby customers. Tampered wirings are dangerous as it can cause fire and electrocution to the occupants.
The power utility would like to remind customers not to compromise on electrical safety as stealing electricity is a hazardous risk that does not guarantee any quick gains.
Sarawak Energy is committed to curbing electricity theft, including those in cryptocurrency mining centres and will continue to work together with the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and the Police to search and track down these electricity thieves.
Customers are also advised not to trust service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow premises owners to enjoy limitless electricity through meter tampering. 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.
Members of the public are strongly encouraged to report any suspected cryptocurrency mining activities in their 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.
Evidence of direct tapping to steal electricity in the premises
Cryptocurrency mining servers
Miri Police seizing the cryptocurrency mining servers