Miri records highest case of electric power theft in Sarawak

A rack showing the cryptocurrency servers which consume large electricity supply that lead to overloading of electricity and potentially fire.

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Nov 21 : Miri recorded the highest number of power theft cases arising from cryptocurrency mining since 2018.

Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) in a press statement yesterday said the Utilities Ministry’s Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) together with the company have investigated 95 cryptocurrency mining-related power theft cases since 2018.

The company noted that out of the 95 cases, Miri reported 55 cases followed by Kuching with 34 cases, Sibu (five) and Bintulu (one).

It disclosed that this year, Miri, Kuching and Sibu recorded five cases each and one case was identified in Bintulu.

For the case in Bintulu, the company said one of the houses located at Happy Garden caught fire on November 10.

The fire and rescue department identified that the reason the house caught fire was due to overloading of electricity consumption and tampered wirings within the house from cryptocurrency mining activities.

Two firemen extinguishing fire at the server room of a house in Bintulu where cryptocurrency mining activity was discovered.

Besides, SEB’s inspection team found the tampered wires nicely hidden in the ceiling to avoid detection.

In April this year, the company gathered that there were nine power interruptions in Pujut, Miri which happened at houses rented by cryptocurrency mining operators.

SEB noted that the cryptocurrency mining operators have tampered with the wirings of the electricity of the rented houses and have their power supply bypassing the main meter.

The company explained that the energy-intensive activity caused overloading and power supply interruption to the electricity system.

Thus, SEB reminds customers not to trust any service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow premises owners to enjoy unlimited usage of electricity through meter tampering.

The company warned the public that power theft is a crime that endangers lives and damaged electrical appliances which may lead to a fire. — DayakDaily