NEWS & UPDATES
Cryptocurrency Miners Caught Stealing Electricity in Senadin Miri
Sarawak Energy Will Not Hesitate to Act Against Electricity Thieves
20 MARCH 2023
Despite enjoying the lowest electricity tariff in Malaysia and amongst the lowest in the region, cryptocurrency miners in Sarawak continue to engage in widespread electricity theft as they attempt to illegally reduce their operating costs. This behavior is not limited to individual miners, but also extends to business entities.
In 2023 alone, a total of seven cryptocurrency miners were found stealing electricity, with four in Kuching and three in Miri. Sarawak Energy estimates that it has incurred losses of more than RM87,000 per month from these cases.
In Miri, two shop lots at Senadin Commercial Centre were found mining cryptocurrency with stolen electricity.
The discovery was made when Sarawak Energy’s technical team received complaints of electricity supply interruption at neighbouring shophouses.
Upon reaching the site, the team found direct tapping cables connected directly from the incoming mains to the premises. On-site investigations also showed that more than 100 cryptocurrency mining servers were found together with other electronic equipment at both premises.
Sarawak Energy estimates that it has incurred losses of around RM32,000 worth of stolen electricity per month from these two sites. All servers, electronic equipment and direct tapping cables have been seized as evidence.
Police reports have been lodged and all involved parties will be called for further investigations. If found guilty, they will be charged under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, with penalties of up to RM100,000 and/or five years in jail.
Warning the public that it does not tolerate such acts, Sarawak Energy will continue to work with the Sarawak Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication, the Police and other agencies including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to eradicate power theft in Sarawak.
Cryptocurrency mining consumes a large amount of electricity as the servers run non-stop and require a cooling system to prevent overheating. Commonly utilized in power theft for such energy-intensive operations, non-standard installations can easily overload the electrical system, raising the risk of short circuits, appliance damage, fires, and even loss of life.
Members of the public 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.
Meter inspection teams are trained to detect various electricity theft methods such as tampered meters, fake electricity meter covers, underground direct tapping and smart meter indications - as part of Sarawak Energy's efforts to curb power theft.
Landlords are urged to be careful when renting premises and should have the electricity account transferred to the tenant so as not to be implicated in any electricity theft activities by their tenants.
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) found on site
Seized cryptocurrency mining servers