Homeowner Caught Stealing Electricity Via Underground Direct Tapping Cables

Tampered Wirings Pose Electrocution and Fire Risks to Occupants and Technicians

13 APRIL 2021

The owner of a double-storey house in Tiya Vista, Kota Samarahan was found stealing electricity in a recent joint operation by Sarawak Energy and the Enforcement and Legal Division of the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak.

The technical team discovered that the power cable was still energised even though electricity supply had been disconnected. With a search warrant issued by the Kota Samarahan Magistrates’ Court, the team discovered direct tapping cables connected to the main incoming supply that had by-passed the electricity meter, resulting in low electricity consumption readings. These cables were hidden behind the gate pillar to prevent detection.

Load readings taken on site showed that the house owner should have been paying more than RM500 per month instead of RM250 per month. All tampered wirings and meters were dismantled and seized as evidence of power theft.

A police report has been lodged and the house 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 electricity supply was illegally connected to the premises, the wirings pose a safety hazard as they were not tested in accordance with SESCO’s standards and safety requirements. Furthermore, the cables may continue to remain energised despite supply being disconnected while carrying out internal wiring works.

The tampered wirings put the occupants and those working on the internal house wirings at risk of electrocution and causing fire to the premises, as well as potential supply interruptions for other residents whose houses are connected to the same main overhead line.

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

Since 2020, Sarawak Energy and the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak have investigated more than 2,500 power theft cases involving commercial and residential premises throughout Sarawak.

The utility company will continue to carry out meter inspection activities throughout the state actively with the assistance of all relevant authorities including the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and the Police.

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 cables hidden underground to prevent detection

Concealed direct tapping cables found after hacking the gate pillar

Underground direct tapping cable used to steal electricity