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KUCHING, July 17: The Sibu Sessions Court recently ordered a sawmill factory operating at Upper Lanang Road, Sibu to pay a fine of RM50,000 for stealing electricity.
The accused was charged under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance which carries a maximum punishment of fine RM100,000 or imprisonment for a maximum of five years or both.
The plaintiff, Ministry of Utilities (MOU) was represented by Prosecution Officer Ronald Felix Hardin from the State Attorney-General’s Office, while the accused was represented by a legal counsel.
The accused pleaded guilty before Judge Caroline Bee Majanil and was sentenced to pay a fine of RM50,000.
According to the ministry’s spokesperson in a press release today, the offence was committed in 2016.
The electricity meter’s wiring system was found to have been tampered with during an operation by Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) and Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of MOU.
The operation was triggered by Sarawak Energy’s system which remotely monitors the consumer’s consumption to detect any irregularities from its headquarters in Kuching.
In the operation, the meter and its wiring were seized for further investigation.
A Sarawak Energy spokesperson, when contacted, said the sawmill factory has stolen electricity on many occasions.
Their records show that there were multiple meter replacements for the same account.
The same sawmill factory was ordered by the Sibu High Court to pay arrears of RM1.04 million to Sarawak Energy recently.
“Even when a customer is charged for arrears, he or she can still be prosecuted in court for power theft offences. Arrears recovery is only to recover the amount unpaid by the customer for the period of tampering,” the ministry’s spokesperson said.
“Stealing electricity 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 reminded members of the public that stealing electricity is a dangerous crime as it endangers lives and could damage customers’ electrical appliances and leads to fire accident.
“Sarawak Energy will actively continue carrying out meter inspection and investigation throughout the state by working closely with MOU, the police and the State Attorney-General (SAG) in the effort to curb power theft in the state.”
The public may report any power theft information via Sarawak Energy hotline 082-443535 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All information will be kept strictly confidential. — DayakDaily