Power Theft At Abandoned Shophouse In Sibu Cause Of Multiple Outages At Jalan Poh Yew

22 APRIL 2024

Sarawak Energy's operations arm, Syarikat SESCO Berhad (SESCO), recently discovered a cryptocurrency miner stealing electricity at an abandoned shophouse following detection of multiple trippings in the Jalan Poh Yew area in early April.

Working together with the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), a 3.00am raid was initiated at an abandoned shophouse confirming suspicions. 17 high-grade cryptocurrency mining machines in operations were discovered, resulting in overloading that caused three outages in April, which affected the neighbouring areas.

Further investigation at the site unveiled direct tapping wires connected straight from the incoming main wiring. Due to the absence of circuit protection, these direct tapping cables also present risks of unsafe situations such as fire, damage to electrical appliances, and potential loss of lives.

The cryptocurrency mining machines and cables were immediately dismantled and seized, while the individuals involved will be investigated.

Due to the growing tendency to utilise abandoned buildings and residential houses to steal electricity for cryptocurrency mining operations, SESCO will intensify inspections in these areas to detect potential power theft. In this instance, the cryptocurrency miner utilised the abandoned shophouse as an operational base to evade suspicion from the public and authorities.

Drawing from past cases, many such premises were found to be registered under the building owner’s name. These registered owners are liable to pay all the arrears bills and may be charged in court under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance. Such actions could result in fines of up to RM200,000 and/or a maximum imprisonment term of five (5) years.

Sarawak Energy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication (MUT) and law enforcement agencies, remains resolute in its mission to combat power theft – safeguarding the integrity of the energy infrastructure and ensuring equitable access to electricity for all customers.

Despite Sarawak having one of the most competitive tariffs in Southeast Asia, the significant energy demand of cryptocurrency mining frequently leads operators to resort to electricity theft to reduce costs. This reinforces Sarawak Energy’s determination to curb power theft through the detection of illicit activities which pose serious safety hazards and disrupts power reliability.

Sarawak Energy urges the public to be aware of the dangers and illegality of stealing electricity, particularly for cryptocurrency mining, which demands a substantial amount of electricity due to its operational nature.

The utility also reminds individuals to exercise caution if approached by anyone offering to reduce their electricity bills, as this could indicate involvement in electricity theft. Those found participating in such illicit activities will face severe legal consequences.

In preventing electricity theft, SESCO's technical team is highly trained and equipped with the necessary tools to identify various methods of electricity theft, including innovative techniques.

Individuals with information related to electricity theft are encouraged to report it to Sarawak Energy through its Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or by emailing All information provided will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

The exterior of the premise utilised for cryptocurrency mining.

Direct tapping cables found at Jalan Poh Yew, Sibu.

Cryptocurrency mining servers found on-site.

The police and SESCO immediately dismantled and seized the cryptocurrency mining machines and cables.

Seized items from the operation.