KUCHING, Sept 2: Five shophouses housing cryptocurrency mining operations which were connected to some 200 servers in Kota Samarahan were raided recently for stealing electricity worth RM100,000 per month.
The joint operations were carried out by Sarawak Energy Berhad, the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) from Sarawak Ministry of Utilities and the police.
In a media release, Sarawak Energy revealed that the raid team had to cut open the locked staircase in order to gain entry into the premises with search warrants from the court as efforts to contact the premises owners were unsuccessful.
“The wirings were connected directly to the premises’ distribution board without going through the electricity meters. These staircases were covered totally with asbestos boards to avoid detection.
“These wirings were undersized and hanging loosely at the staircase. The unsafe wirings and installation can easily cause fire and electrocution to the occupants,” the statement read.
The actual load readings taken on site, according to Sarawak Energy, showed that all five premises were consuming at least RM100,000 worth of electricity per month.
“A total of 200 cryptocurrency mining servers were found in all of the premises and these energy intensive machines are operating 24 hours daily.
“The premises were also equipped with ventilation fans to keep the machines from overheating. Egg trays were also used to dampen the noise from the server and these trays are prone to fire hazard (sic) when exposed to overheating,” the statement added.
All illegal connections were seized as evidence and five police reports were lodged over the incident while the premises owners will also be called in for a statement to assist in the investigation.
Sarawak Energy pointed out that the success of this operation was made possible with increasing public awareness over the dangers posed by unsafe wirings used in electricity theft.
These valuable tip offs, it added, have led to the discovery of 15 cases statewide since January this year and these cases were now pending prosecution by the Sarawak State Attorney-General’s Chambers.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the public for continuing to report suspicious activities in their neighbourhood. This information has contributed to many of our successes.”
Sarawak Energy warned that stealing electricity is a criminal offence under Section 33 (5) of the Sarawak Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment.
Illegal connection is not only prohibited, but it also poses dangers such as electrocution, fire and damages to the electrical appliances.
Customers are reminded not to trust any service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow premises owners to enjoy unlimited usage of electricity.
Landlords are advised to ensure that their tenants do not tamper with their electricity meter to avoid unnecessary prosecution upon themselves.
Sarawak Energy is mandated to recover the loss of revenue resulting from this illegal activity and will actively carry out meter inspection throughout the state while working together with the Ministry of Utilities and the police to curb this dangerous crime.
The public is encouraged to report any suspicious activity to Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email email@example.com. All information obtained will be kept strictly confidential. — DayakDaily