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KUCHING, Sept 22: A cryptocurrency mining centre at Jalan Muara Tuang here has been found stealing electricity during a recent operation by Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) and the police following public reports on electricity supply interruption.
Sarawak Energy said more than 180 units of cryptocurrency mining servers worth more than RM440,000, routers and an internet modem were found during the raid.
It was also estimated that cryptocurrency mining activities in the building had caused Sarawak Energy to incur losses amounting to RM52,000 per month.
Following an inspection by Sarawak Energy’s technical team, illegal direct tapping cables were discovered connected from the main wiring directly to the cryptocurrency mining servers.
“Cryptocurrency mining operations require a substantial amount of energy as they run 24 hours. By direct connection to the overhead lines, they are able to bypass consumption readings.
“However, this causes an overload to the electrical network system and eventually leads to unnecessary outages or low voltages that could damage appliances, affecting nearby customers,” it explained regarding the occurrence of electricity supply interruption in nearby areas.
All cryptocurrency mining machines were seized by the police, with illegal direct tapping cables dismantled as evidence of electricity theft.
A suspect involving in the mining activity, who was arrested by the police, will be charged in court for electricity theft under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment if found guilty.
“To date, 26 cases of electricity theft involving cryptocurrency mining operations were recorded this year, with six cases in Kuching, two in Sibu and 18 in Miri.
“Sarawak Energy has incurred approximately RM17.23 million in losses from these cases, with a total of 2,019 units of cryptocurrency mining machines seized by the police,” said Sarawak Energy in a statement today.
As Sarawak Energy continues to curb electricity theft together with the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and the police, customers are strongly reminded not to compromise on electrical safety as stealing electricity is hazardous and does not guarantee any quick gains.
The public is also advised not to trust any service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow building owners to enjoy limitless electricity through meter tampering.
To report any suspicious cryptocurrency mining activities in the neighbourhood or abandoned buildings, members of the public are strongly encouraged to contact Sarawak Energy’s Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. — Dayakdaily