KUCHING: A coffee shop proprietor at a commercial centre in Mile 9 Kuching-Serian Road has been caught for stealing electricity — again.

The theft was uncovered during a recent anti-power theft joint operation carried out by Sarawak Energy, Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) from the Utilities Ministry and the police.

This is the second time the shop proprietor was caught stealing electricity at the same premises. The first case happened several months ago.

Since then, Sarawak Energy’s utility arm, Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco), continued to place his coffee shop under close surveillance. During the recent raid, it was discovered that electricity supply was directly connected to the premises from an incoming mains without any meter.

Record reveals that the proprietor had never applied for electricity supply connection from Sarawak Energy to his shop.

Evidence of direct tapping without electricity meter.

After the first raid, the illegal supply was disconnected but the proprietor continued to steal electricity using the same method.

During the latest raid, Sarawak Energy’s technical team dismantled and seized all wirings, jumper cables and meter tails (where direct connection was done) as evidences.

A police report was also lodged, and the proprietor will be called in for investigations under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance.

EIU and the State Attorney General will commence legal action against the proprietor to recover the cost of the stolen electricity.

Power theft is a crime under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of RM100,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment if found guilty. It is also a dangerous act which endangers lives and damages customers’ properties including electrical appliances which may lead to fire.

To curb this dangerous crime, Sarawak Energy will continue to carry out meter inspections and investigations throughout Sarawak together with the Utilities Ministry and the police.

Sarawak Energy would like to remind the public not to trust any service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills and allow premises owners to enjoy limitless electricity usage.

Owners will be held responsible for the crime as the meters are registered under their names.

Members of the public can report on any power theft information, including details of power theft service providers, via the Sarawak Energy hotline at 082-443535. All information will be kept strictly confidential.