2 nabbed in anti-power theft ambush in Kuching

The two men in the midst of tampering with the wiring system at the meter cabinet of the house.

KUCHING, March 6: Two men were caught tampering with the wiring system of a customer’s house at Tabuan Tranquility during a recent anti-power theft ambush operation.

The two suspects, aged 47 and 33, are believed to be operating an illegal business providing electricity theft services. They were detained at the scene and later taken into police custody for further investigation.

The tools used in the crime were also seized as evidence.

According to Sarawak Energy, the arrest was made possible after months of surveillance by the anti-power theft team comprising personnel from Sarawak Energy’s utility arm Syarikat SESCO Berhad (Sesco), Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of the Ministry of Utilities and the police.

“It was learnt that the two suspects had been performing illegal connection of supply and manipulating electricity meter readings, from a public tip-off,” said Sarawak Energy in a statement.

Sarawak Energy revealed that close surveillance results indicated that this illegal activity was frequent in Tabuan Tranquility and nearby areas, prompting them to conduct more anti-power theft operations there.

The illegal connection found at the meter cabinet that supplies electricity to the house.

Based on police information, one of the suspects is also wanted for other criminal cases and the magistrate’s court has granted four days remand to the police for further investigation. It is believed that this case may lead to more arrests.

Sarawak Energy said the house owner had also been called in by the police to assist in the investigation.

“From information gathered, the house owner is believed to have used the illegal service since 2017 and had never applied for electricity connection, avoiding payment of monthly electricity bills.

“Based on the supply loading measured at the premises during the raid, the electricity consumption for the premises is quite high and estimated to reach RM800 per month. The utility will recover the charges for the stolen electricity from the customer based on estimated consumption for the two years of illegal supply.”

Sarawak Energy said that it would continue to work closely with the police and reminded its customers that subscribing to or committing this illegal activity 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.

Stealing electricity endangers lives, can damage customers’ electrical appliances and even cause fires to the premises.

Members of the public can continue to report on any power theft information via the Sarawak Energy hotline at 082-443535. All information will be kept strictly confidential. — DayakDaily