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MIRI, Oct 27: Two separate cryptocurrency mining operations were caught stealing electricity during joint operations conducted by Sarawak Energy and Miri Police recently.
Sarawak Energy in a statement today said one of the cryptocurrency mining centres was located in Desa Senadin Industrial Park while the other was at Jalan Jee Foh.
A total of 84 cryptocurrency mining machines worth around RM420,000 were discovered during the operations.
Further inspection by Sarawak Energy’s technical teams led to the discovery of direct tapping cables illegally connected to the servers, which bypassed the electricity meters.
All of the cryptocurrency mining servers were seized and the illegal direct tapping cables were dismantled as evidence of electricity theft.
A caretaker for one of the locations was also arrested by the police and was remanded for four days to assist in investigation.
It is estimated that Sarawak Energy lost approximately RM33,500 in unregistered electricity consumption per month from the cryptocurrency operators.
A police report was lodged and the operators will be charged for stealing electricity under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years jail if found guilty.
Sarawak Energy would like to remind members of the public that stealing electricity is a dangerous crime.
It can lead to fire and electrocutions as unsafe wiring connections do not meet SESCO’s safety standards.
Individuals are advised not to disregard any safety risks to themselves and the public for profit.
Cryptocurrency mining activities run 24-hours a day and require a large amount of electricity to power their operations.
When electrical connections are tampered with and electricity supply is directly tapped from the source to bypass meter readings, the electrical network system will be overloaded leading to unnecessary outages or low voltages that could damage appliances and affect nearby customers.
Together with the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and the Police, Sarawak Energy will continue to search and track down power thieves, including those involved in cryptocurrency mining operators.
Customers are advised not to trust service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow premises owners to enjoy limitless electricity through meter tampering. Meter inspection teams are trained to detect various electricity theft methods as part of Sarawak Energy’s efforts to curb power theft.
Sarawak Energy encourages the public to report any suspected cryptocurrency mining activities in their neighbourhood or abandoned buildings to its customer care centre at 1300- 88-3111 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All information received will be kept strictly confidential. — DayakDaily