2 premises caught again for stealing electricity for cryptocurrency mining

A Sesco officer points to the direct-tapping of electricity.

KUCHING, Sept 28: Sarawak Energy Bhd caught two premises in Tabuan Tranquility Commercial Centre this afternoon for tapping electricity.

This is the second time the two premises were caught redhanded. The first was eight days ago.

The first premise was suspected of carrying out a cryptocurrency mining operation on the second and third floors of a shophouse building here. They were found direct-tapping electricity from the mains without any Sarawak Energy meter for the last six months.

A spokesperson from Sarawak Energy said this was equivalent to a loss of between RM10,000-RM15,000 per month.

The second premise nearby was also suspected of running a cryptocurrency mining operation and direct-tapping electricity by the same means on the second and third floors of a shophouse building.

Losses from this amounted to RM20,000-RM25,000 per month, said the Sarawak Energy spokesperson.

“We would need a warrant if we were to break into the premise. However, as of now, what we could only do is disconnect the operations within our jurisdiction,” said the spokesperson.

If the owners of the premises are found guilty under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, they can be fined RM100,000 and/or five years imprisonment.

The spokesperson added that in the first eight months of this year, Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco), a subsidiary of Sarawak Energy, suffered losses amounting to RM80 million due to power theft alone.

The spokesperson disclosed that Sesco would continue to work with the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Ministry of Utilities to curb power theft and meter tampering in the state.

This year, action has been taken on 30 premises across the state for power theft involving cryptocurrency mining. Sixteen premises were in Miri, 13 in Kuching and one in Sibu.

“We will continue to monitor these premises,” the spokesperson added. — DayakDaily