Cryptocurrency mining operators caught stealing electricity in Miri

The SESCO team inspects the tampered wiring.

KUCHING, March 23: Several cryptocurrency mining operators at the Bandar Baru Permyjaya, Piasau Jaya, Marina Square, Desa Senadin and Desa Pujut were caught stealing electricity, in a special operation conducted in Miri recently.

Sarawak Energy’s operations and retail arm, Syarikat SESCO Berhad (SESCO) together with Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) inspectors from the Ministry of Utilities and Miri police worked together in the one-day operation which involved a sweeping check of the cryptocurrency premises after months of surveillance works, according to a press release.

Armed with a search warrant issued by the Miri Magistrate’s Court, the party was able to uncover the tactics used by the operators to hide their illegal activities to avoid power theft detection. They had covered the meter access using aluminum sheets, and closed their respective premises’ shutters to prevent SESCO personnel from carrying out meter reading works.

Twelve meters were found to have been tampered with by connecting cables from the meters’ cut-outs directly into the premises’ isolators to bypass the meters.

The tampered meters were later seized as evidence before replacing them with new ones. A police report was also lodged for further investigation and action.

SESCO will continue to actively carry out joint operations with the Police and EIU to curb power theft activities throughout the state.

Stealing electricity is a crime that endangers lives, can cause damage to customers’ electrical appliances and even lead to fire. Those found guilty will be charged under Section 33 (5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of RM100,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment.

Members of the public can contact SESCO on power theft information via the SESCO hotline at 082-443535. All information will be treated strictly as confidential. — DayakDaily