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Jail, fine for illegal electricity connections

Posted on February 9, 2012, Thursday

POWER THEFT: Technicians dismantling another illegal connection found at the ceiling of the factory which was also used to bypass the SESB power meter installed at the facility.

KOTA KINABALU: The owner of an ice factory in Inanam near here may face a three-year jail, a fine of up to RM100,000 or both after the authorities discovered illegal wirings believed to be used for stealing electricity at the facility.

The illegal connections bypassing the power meter were discovered during an anti-electricity theft operation carried out by the Energy Commission with assistance from Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, targetting industrial premises and major power consumers around the capital.

Commission enforcement unit chief Shahidan Baharom said his team found two illegal bypass connections after a spot check at the factory.

“The factory gets most of its power supply directly from the SESB service line and not through the installed meter.

“Only about a quarter of its electricity is recored by the meter, which means the other three-quarters are stolen and not paid for,” he said to reporters during the operation.

Shahidan said the authorities viewed power thefts as a serious offence that needed to be dealt with firmly as it did not only cause losses to the power company
but could also result in short circuits and fire, and pose a great danger to the workers at the premises.

He said the owner and operator involved would be charged in court under Section 37 (1) of the Electricity Supply Act 1990 (Act 447).

Shahrizan said SESB would also issue a notice to individuals involved to claim for the estimated revenue losses, and had confiscated all the cables used for the illegal connections as well as the power meter as evidence.

“This case cannot be settled with a compound; action has to be taken through the court.

“This can not only cause power disruption at the premises itself but can also affect other consumers who are relying on the same power line for electricity,” he said.

The bypass connections if done improperly by unqualified technicians could also lead to fatal accidents, he added.

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