KUCHING, April 17 ― More than half of electricity theft cases linked to cryptocurrency mining in Sarawak were reported in Miri, said Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB).

The utility company said out of the 260 cases uncovered in the state since 2018, approximately 60 per cent, or 156 cases, were discovered in the division.

“These cases have resulted in a monthly loss of around RM4 million for Sarawak Energy.


“Individuals involved in these cases are currently being prosecuted, reflecting our commitment to clamping down on the issue of power theft,” said the corporation in a press release.

The SEB said it recently uncovered three cryptocurrency mining operations in Miri utilising stolen electricity to power up their activities, which resulted in an estimated monthly losses of RM30,000 for the utilities company.

SEB’s operations arm Syarikat Sesco Bhd (Sesco), in a joint operation with the police, found electricity theft activities occurring in shophouses and residential units in Pujut and Jalan Miri-Bintulu.


“During the raids, Sesco’s meter inspection team discovered direct-tapping cables being used to bypass the meters and illicitly obtain electricity from the incoming mains.

“More than 70 cryptocurrency mining servers and other electronic devices found on site have been seized as evidence in the ongoing investigation,” it said.

The SEB added that the discovery followed the exposure of six power theft cases in Miri by Sesco and authorities earlier.

“The three cases are being investigated under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance.

“Those found guilty face a maximum fine of RM200,000 and/or imprisonment for up to five years upon conviction.”

The SEB said despite Sarawak having one of the most competitive tariffs in the region, the high energy demand of cryptocurrency mining often drove operators to resort to electricity theft to lower their costs.

“However, such operations commonly involve non-standard and unsafe wiring, posing risks of fire, damage to electrical appliances, loss of lives, and power supply disruptions to neighbouring properties,” it stressed.

The utilities company remained committed to ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication Sarawak, as well as with the law enforcement agencies to combat power theft, particularly in cases involving cryptocurrency mining.

It also cautioned against service providers promising cheaper electricity bills, as Sesco’s technical teams are well-trained and equipped to detect various forms of electricity theft.

“Landlords should be careful when renting out their properties to protect themselves from potential unlawful activities by tenants.

‘Electricity accounts should be registered under the tenant’s name to mitigate the risk of being implicated in electricity theft,” it advised.

Individuals with information related to power theft are encouraged to contact SEB via its customer care centre line 1-300-88-3111, or via [email protected].

All information provided will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. ― The Borneo Post