Tuesday, September 24

Sibu vegetable farmer caught stealing electricity

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Police and other enforcement officials check the farm for power theft.

KUCHING: A commercial vegetable farmer at Jalan Oya, Sibu was caught stealing electricity by illegally tapping supply from a nearby service pole during a recent power theft crackdown.

In the joint operation conducted with the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the police, the farm was found to have illegally connected its supply directly from the transformer at the service pole, bypassing the meter.

Acting on a tip-off, Sarawak Energy began monitoring the farm operator, who has previously committed the crime on numerous occasions, in March.

Sarawak Energy put the farm operator on its surveillance list for power theft and worked with the police to build a case against the operator.

The team dismantles the illegal connections with exposed wirings, which were a safety hazard.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Sarawak Energy utility arm Syarikat Sesco Berhad said, “The illegal connections with exposed wiring are a safety hazard. There is a risk of electrocution and this may also cause a fire. The public is reminded that power theft is a dangerous crime.”

The farm also has quarters equipped with air-conditioning for its immigrant workers.

All illegal connections were dismantled and seized as evidence during the raid.

Power theft is still rampant in Sarawak and Sarawak Energy will continue to work closely with EIU, the police, and other enforcement agencies to intensify operations on all identified targets.

Sarawak Energy is also looking into technology that can effectively detect power theft.

Those found stealing electricity will be charged under Section 33 (5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of RM100,000 and/or five years’ jail.

The public can report suspicious activities via the dedicated hotline on 082-443535.