Tabuan Laru resident found stealing electricity following public tip off

Direct tapping cables found hidden behind the meter.
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KUCHING, Oct 19: A resident at Tabuan Laru here was recently found with a tampered electricity meter wiring system, joining a growing number of power thieves nabbed based on information received from the public.

This increased awareness of the dangerous crime and public willingness to act provides a positive indication of the success of Sarawak Energy’s ongoing anti-power theft campaign, said the state energy development company in a statement.

“Sarawak Energy’s meter inspection team from its utility arm, Syarikat Sesco Bhd and their auxiliary police, raided the premises and found evidence of direct tapping of electricity supply from the meter cut-out to the house, bypassing the electricity meter.

“On-site investigations revealed that the direct tapping cables were hidden behind the electricity meter. Past billing records showed low monthly power consumption at approximately RM20 per month despite heavy use of air conditioners,” the statement continued.

Direct tapping cables found hidden behind the meter.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the house is currently rented out to a tenant and the meter was seized during the raid for evidence. A police report was also lodged and both the tenant and landlord will be called in for statements, Sarawak Energy said.

The Ministry of Utilities’ Electricity Inspectorate Unit (EIU) and the State Attorney General will commence legal action against the perpetrators for the offence of stealing electricity under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance.

Sarawak Energy may also proceed with commercial action to recover arrears for the cost of stolen electricity, it continued.

The corporation added that it will continue to carry out meter inspections and investigations with the Ministry of Utilities and the police, while reminding the public that 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’ properties including electrical appliances which may lead to fire, Sarawak Energy said.

“Customers are reminded not to trust any service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or to allow premises owners to enjoy limitless electricity usage.

“Landlords renting out their houses are advised to have the accounts registered under the tenant’s name in order to protect themselves from any liabilities in the event of meter irregularities.”

Sarawak Energy expressed appreciation on the tip offs from members of the public and encourages the public to continue to report on any power theft including details of power theft service providers via Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111.

It said all information will be kept strictly confidential. — DayakDaily