Car Accessories Shop Found Stealing Electricity Via Underground Direct Tapping Cables

Sarawak Energy Ready to Detect Different Methods of Electricity Theft

23 APRIL 2021

A three-storey car accessories shop at Lorong Sawi in Sibu was found stealing electricity during a joint operation conducted by Sarawak Energy, the Enforcement and Legal Division of the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and the Police.

During the operation, which was triggered following a public tip-off, the technical team discovered that the electricity was stolen through direct tapping cables hidden underground to prevent detection. The cables were connected directly from the overhead lines, bypassing the electricity meter, resulting in low recorded electricity consumption.

Load readings taken on site showed that the operator should have been paying more than RM16,000 per month instead of its average monthly billing of just RM900. All tampered wirings and meters were dismantled and seized as evidence.

A police report has been lodged, and both the business operator and premises owner will be called in to assist with investigations under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance. Stealing electricity is a criminal offence which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years’ jail if found guilty.

As the electricity supply was illegally connected to the premises, the wirings pose a safety hazard as they were not tested in accordance with Sarawak Energy’s operation’s arm SESCO’s utility standards and safety requirements. This is both a fire risk to the building and puts others in danger of electrocution.

This is the second power theft case involving underground direct tapping cables this month. The first case was discovered in Kuching when the owner of a double-storey house in Tiya Vista, Kota Samarahan was found stealing electricity using the same method.

In efforts to curb electricity theft, Sarawak Energy’s meter inspection teams are well-trained to detect various methods of stealing electricity. These include direct tapping cables hidden underground or connected directly to overhead lines.

Customers are reminded not to trust service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity use or allow premises owners to enjoy unlimited usage of electricity through meter tampering.

Sarawak Energy will continue to carry out meter inspection activities actively throughout Sarawak, working together with the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak, the Police and other relevant authorities.

Members of the public may report any suspicious activities related to power theft and service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity consumption by contacting Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email at All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Direct tapping cable connected from the overhead line

Direct tapping cable hidden inside pipes underground to prevent detection

Direct tapping cables inside the premises