KUCHING, August 28: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has detained two men and two women over alleged bribery involving illegal connection of electricity supply and tampered meters.
The four suspects, aged between 37 and 41 years, were arrested between 5pm and 5.40pm at the Miri and Sibu MACC offices when they turned up to give their statements yesterday.
According to sources, the four individuals have allegedly been offering monthly bribes to Sarawak Energy officers since last year, which have amounted to RM27,000.
“Two of the suspects are believed to be ‘runners’ of several premises around Miri and Sibu, while the other two are understood to be owners of premises involved in the activity,” the source said.
MACC has searched the houses of the suspects and found over 90 units of electricity meters, over 600 units of meter front covers, 590 units of meter base and electricity bills of customers with payment charges believed to have been altered.
The source added that the activity could have been widespread in Miri and Sibu since last year, where the suspects were allegedly capable of reducing electricity bills by up to 75 per cent from the original charges.
Meanwhile, Sarawak MACC director Razim Mohd Noor has confirmed the arrests. He said the illegal activity had caused leakages to Sarawak Energy’s operations of up to over RM12 million annually.
MACC will not carry out investigations on the loss of income suffered by Sarawak Energy. It will also leave it to the corporation to take appropriate actions against those personnel who are involved with the suspects, he added.
All the suspects will be investigated under Section 17 (b) of the MACC Act 2009.
Meanwhile, in a statement today, Sarawak Energy confirmed that the company is cooperating with the MACC.
“Sarawak Energy strongly condemns any form of corrupt practice, and requires all employees to abide by the Code of Ethics. Sarawak Energy’s Fraud Risk Management office provides a whistleblowing mechanism under which any member of the public can report staff of corrupt practice. Anyone who is proven to have acted fraudulently or in a corrupt manner is subject to the law,” the company said.
Editor’s note: This article was amended to include the statement from Sarawak Energy about the MACC investigation.