NEWS & UPDATES
Public Tip Offs Essential in Helping to Curb Electricity Theft
Electricity Theft Linked to Cryptocurrency Mining Operations Uncovered Following Public Tip Off
11 NOVEMBER 2021
Sarawak Energy expresses its appreciation for public support in curbing power theft and encourages members of the public to report any suspected electricity theft case in their neighbourhood to the power utility by contacting Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email at email@example.com. All information received is strictly kept confidential.
The most recent example of the importance of public tip offs involved a cryptocurrency mining centre hidden in a commercial shoplot at Sungai Apong, Kuching. The centre’s operators were discovered stealing electricity in the latest operation by Sarawak Energy and Ministry of Utilities Sarawak.
After receiving a public tip off, the operation team obtained a search warrant from the magistrate and proceeded to raid the premises. A total of 25 units of cryptocurrency mining machines worth around RM49,000, modem, monitor and CPU used to mine cryptocurrencies were found.
The power supply to the premises had been disconnected due to outstanding electricity charges. The operation team had also found direct tapping cables which were illegally connected to the servers.
In this case, Sarawak Energy incurred losses worth around RM7,600 in unregistered electricity consumption per month. All cryptocurrency mining servers, CPU, modem and monitor were seized and illegal direct tapping cables dismantled as evidence of electricity theft.
A police report was lodged and the operator will be charged for stealing electricity 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.
Stealing electricity is a dangerous crime which can lead to fire and electrocutions as unsafe wiring connections do not meet SESCO’s safety standards.
Cryptocurrency mining runs non-stop, requiring high electricity consumption to power their operations. Whenever electricity is stolen through direct tapping and bypassing electricity meters, the electrical network system can easily overload, leading to unnecessary outages or low voltages that could damage appliances and affect nearby customers.
Individuals, especially cryptocurrency miners are advised not to disregard any safety risks to themselves and the public for profit and to run their operations legally and ensure their electricity supply is not from stolen sources.
Information from the public on power theft is crucial in the ongoing campaign against power theft. Together with the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and the Police, Sarawak Energy will continue to search and track down power thieves state-wide.
Customers are 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 various electricity theft methods as part of Sarawak Energy's efforts to curb power theft.
Direct tapping cables used to steal electricity without an electricity meter.
Cryptocurrency mining servers found inside the premises.