Authorities warn against electricity theft

Foreign objects (black coloured wires and resistors) are found on the meter’s PCB board.

MIRI, Aug 21: The Miri Sessions Court recently ruled in favour of Ministry of Utilities in a power theft case against a renowned supermarket chain operating in Batu Niah here.

The court’s decision, the Ministry emphasised in a media release today, marked another milestone in Sarawak Energy’s efforts to curb power theft in the state.

“This on-going effort to stamp out power theft has recorded significant successes,” the statement said.

The supermarket was charged on July 19, 2019 and claimed trial, but later changed to plead guilty on Aug 8, 2019 before Sessions Court judge Steve Ritikos, who passed the sentenced on the same day.

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The supermarket was ordered to pay fine of RM35,000 for the offence.

According to the Ministry’s spokesperson, the offence was committed in 2015 when Sarawak Energy received a tip off from the public.

Four pieces of magnetic switches and black coloured wires are found inside the meter.

This led to an operation to inspect the meter which resulted in the seizure of the meter for further investigation.

The meter was later sent to a laboratory for a postmortem and foreign objects like switches, wires and resistors were found inside the meter.

This was a common method used by power theft syndicates to tamper meter, preventing it from registering the actual consumption of energy.

The Ministry thus reminded the public that stealing electricity is a dangerous crime as it endangers lives and could damage customers’ electrical appliances.

It is a criminal offence under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance which carries a penalty of RM100,000 and/or five years imprisonment.

Sarawak Energy will continue to actively carry out meter inspections and investigations throughout the state by working closely with the Ministry, police and State Attorney General (SAG) Chambers in the fight against power theft.

Those with information on power theft can contact Sesco’s power theft hotline at 082-443535 or email customercare@sarawakenergy.com.my. All information will be kept strictly confidential.— DayakDaily