Illegal cryptocurrency mining centre raided

This makeshift used in the cryptocurrency mining activity. A total of 28 crypto mining servers are found in the hut.

MIRI: Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and the police have raided an illegal cryptocurrency mining centre with 28 mining machines worth RM162,000 in a makeshift hut on private land in Jalan Bakam, Miri.

The machines were dismantled and seized as court evidence. The police are currently looking for the landowner to assist in investigations.

The SEB said power thefts have been closely related to cryptocurrency mining activities and the current modus operandi is using abandoned houses or huts to avoid detection. It said those involved with this activity would tap electricity supply directly from the overhead lines and use the supply for free at the expense of the safety of others.

“Non-standard wirings and illegal connections pose a serious risk to the public as those in the vicinity of power theft activities can easily fall victim to fire and electrocution due to this dangerous crime.

PVC pipes containing cables connected directly to the overhead power line.

“Unregistered electricity consumption is regarded as stealing electricity in Sarawak, a criminal offence 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.

“Cryptocurrency operation requires a substantial amount of energy which needs to run 24 hours and requires direct connection to the overhead lines which will cause overload to the electricity network system and eventually lead to unnecessary outages or low voltages that could damage appliances of nearby customers.”

Sarawak Energy also reminded their customers to never compromise on electrical safety as stealing electricity do not guarantee them quick gains, but it is a hazardous risk.

“Customers are also reminded not to trust service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow premises owners to enjoy limitless electricity through meter tampering as meter inspection teams are trained to detect tampered meters, including fake electricity meter covers, as part of Sarawak Energy’s efforts to curb power theft.

“As such, SEB appreciates the support from members of the public and encourages reporting of cryptocurrency mining activities at the neighbourhood or abandoned buildings to Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email at customercare@sarawakenergy.com. All information received will be kept strictly confidential.”