KUCHING: Thirty-two cryptocurrency mining machines worth around RM80,000 were found at a commercial shoplot at Jalan Matang here, costing Sarawak Energy Berhad monthly losses of around RM6,800 in unregistered electricity consumption.
During the raid, Sarawak Energy’s operation team also discovered direct tapping cables hidden which were illegally connected behind the meter fuses.
“With the success of the raid, all cryptocurrency mining installations were seized by the police and the illegal direct tapping cables were also dismantled as evidence of electricity theft,” the firm said in its statement.
It also disclosed a police report was lodged and that the operator would be charged with 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.
Electricity thefts remain widespread in Sarawak and the collaboration between Sarawak Energy, the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and the police to track down and catch power thieves continues to show success.
“Cryptocurrency mining runs non-stop, thus requiring high electricity consumption to power its 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 can damage appliances and affect nearby customers.
“Individuals, especially cryptocurrency miners, are advised not to disregard any safety risks to themselves and the public for profits and to run their operations legally and ensure their electricity supply is not from stolen sources.
“Stealing electricity is a dangerous crime which can lead to fires and electrocutions as unsafe wiring connections do not meet Sesco’s safety standards,” Sarawak Energy reminded.
It also advised the customers 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 thefts.
“Sarawak Energy appreciates 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. All information received is strictly kept confidential,” it said.