Night entertainment outlet in Miri caught stealing electricity

Sarawak Energy’s meter inspection team inspecting the mains wiring inside the ceiling.

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MIRI, Feb 11: A night entertainment outlet operator in Marina Square here was recently caught stealing electricity in a joint operation led by the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of the Ministry of Utilities, Sarawak Energy’s meter inspection team and the police.

According to a media release today, a technical team from Sarawak Energy’s utility arm, Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco), which is trained in detecting electricity theft, conducted surveillance on the premises after receiving a public tip-off and found irregular power consumption readings.

Upon further investigation, the three-storey premises with 22 private rooms was found to be illegally tapping electricity from the incoming mains wiring of the supply distribution board.

The team also discovered illegal direct tapping cables by-passing three electricity meters which were hidden within the pathway ceiling.

The meters registered a lower power consumption than the actual usage by its daily business operations, recording monthly bills between the range of RM1,500 to RM1,800 per month, an amount unrealistically low for a business of this nature.

All tampered meters and cables were seized as evidence and a police report was lodged against the operator. The operator will be called in to assist in investigations.

Direct tapping cables hidden inside the gypsum ceiling.
Seized cables to be used as evidence against the operator.

The EIU and State Attorney General (SAG) will commence legal action against the premises owner for stealing electricity under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance.

Sarawak Energy is mandated to recover arrears or estimated unpaid amounts from the detection of theft by account holders.

Power theft is a crime which carries a penalty of RM100,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment if found guilty.

It is also a dangerous act which endangers lives and damages customers’ property including electrical appliances which may lead to fire.

Sarawak Energy will continue to carry out meter inspections and investigation operations throughout Sarawak together with the Ministry of Utilities and the police to curb this dangerous activity.

Customers are reminded not to trust service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow premises owners to enjoy limitless electricity through meter tampering as meter inspection teams are trained to detect tampered meters, including fake electricity meter covers as part of efforts to curb power theft.

Sarawak Energy appreciates the support from members of the public and encourages the public to continue to report to Sarawak Energy any power theft information, including details of power theft service providers via Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or customercare@sarawakenergy.com. All information obtained will be kept strictly confidential. — DayakDaily