Raid exposes crypto operators stealing electricity

An example of a crypto mining setup

KUCHING – Five cryptocurrency mining operators in Kota Samarahan were found stealing electricity in a recent joint operation conducted by Sarawak Energy, the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of the Sarawak Ministry of Utilities and police.

The operators were believed to have been actively operating during the Movement Control Order (CMO) period at five shophouses and the raiding team found that unsafe wirings were used to illegally tap electricity that bypassed the supply meters at the premises.

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“These wirings were undersized and hanging loosely at the staircase which could easily cause a fire and electrocution to the occupants,” said Sarawak Energy Berhad in a statement today.

It said the raiding team entered the premises with search warrants from the court as efforts to contact the premises owners were unsuccessful and they had to force open the locked staircase to gain entry.

“The actual load readings taken on site showed that all five premises were consuming at least RM100,000 worth of electricity per month. A total of 200 cryptocurrency mining servers were found in all of the premises and these energy-intensive machines were operating 24 hours daily,” it added.

The statement said all illegal connections were seized as evidence and five police reports were lodged on the theft, while the premises owners would be called to give their statements.

Since January this year, 15 cases of electricity theft have been recorded in Sarawak and all the cases are now pending prosecution by the state’s Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Under Section 33 (5) of the Sarawak Electricity Ordinance, stealing electricity is a criminal offence where the offenders could be fined up to RM100,000 and/or jailed for up to five years, upon conviction.

— BERNAMA