SIBU, Aug 12 — Five cryptocurrency mining operators here have been caught stealing electricity supply worth at least RM250,000 a month, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) disclosed today.

It said the illegal activities of these operators were discovered during a joint operation mounted by SEB together with the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) from Sarawak Ministry of Utilities and the police recently.

Over the course of the two-day operation, the illegal activity was uncovered at mining centres located in four different shophouses at Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, Jalan Pahlawan and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman.

“At all premises, it was found that unsafe direct tapping cables from the main incoming supply hidden in the gypsum ceiling that were connected straight to the electrical appliances, bypassing the meter and avoiding actual electricity consumption measurements,” it said in a statement.

Checks revealed that the monthly bills for all the five shophouses amounted to just about RM800 to RM1000 despite having mining servers operating round the clock.

“Actual load readings taken on site showed that all five premises were consuming at least RM250,000 worth of electricity per month,” it said.

Five police reports were lodged and all unsafe connections were removed and seized as evidence.

The premise owners would also be called to assist in the investigations.

EIU together with SEB had investigated about 50 electricity theft cases relating to cryptocurrency mining operators in the state since 2018.

These cases are now pending prosecution by Sarawak State Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Stealing electricity is a criminal offence under Section 33 (5) of the Sarawak Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment.

The public is encouraged to report any suspicious activity to Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email [email protected] — Bernama