NEWS & UPDATES
Two More Cryptocurrency Mining Operators Caught Stealing Electricity in Senadin, Miri
16 DECEMBER 2022
Two cryptocurrency mining operations in Miri were busted in a raid by authorities, as authorities double-up efforts to bring power thieves to justice.
A joint raid conducted by Sarawak Energy, the Sarawak Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication and the Police in Desa Senadin here last week uncovered a total of 85 cryptocurrency mining servers during the heist.
Direct tapping cables were seen connected directly from the incoming mains to the premises. The servers and cables were seized as evidence of electricity theft and police reports were lodged, while the premise owners were also found to not have a Sarawak Energy electricity account based on the utility’s customer database.
Sarawak Energy already offers one of the lowest tariff rates in the region, but power thefts continue to occur. This illicit activity has cost Sarawak Energy an estimated loss of over RM16,000 per month due to stolen electricity from these two premises alone.
Raids by authorities in the state have uncovered a total of 11 electricity theft cases in just the past two months. Seven of these cases were in Kuching while the rest were from Miri.
Investigations are ongoing for these cases and all parties, including landlords and real estate agents, have been called up to cooperate during the process.
Perpetrators found guilty under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance face a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years jail.
Cryptocurrency mining consumes a large amount of electricity as the servers run non-stop and require a cooling system to prevent overheating. Non-standard installations commonly used in electricity theft for such energy-intensive activities can easily overload the electrical system capacity, increasing the risk of short circuits, appliance damage, fires and even loss of lives.
Sarawak Energy will continue to work with the Sarawak Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication and the Police to track down and detect more electricity thieves. The utility company believes that electricity theft among cryptocurrency mining operators is still rampant as it is masterminded by certain parties.
Collaboration with agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department is also ongoing to raise awareness on safe electricity usage to prevent unwanted fires.
Landlords are advised to be mindful of tenants’ activities and electricity accounts should be registered under tenants’ name. This is to avoid being involved in any power theft crime committed at rented properties.
Members of the public are also 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.
Meter inspection teams are trained to detect various electricity theft methods - including tampered meters, fake electricity meter covers, underground direct tapping and smart meter indications - as part of Sarawak Energy's efforts to curb power theft.
Those with power theft information are strongly encouraged to step forward and contact Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarawak Energy assures that all information received will be kept strictly confidential.
Direct tapping cables (red arrow) used to steal electricity
Cryptocurrency mining servers found at the raided premises in Desa Senadin
Servers from both cryptocurrency mining centres seized by the Police as evidence of electricity theft