Power theft operation in Miri uncovers crypto mining activities


Cryptocurrency mining servers found at a shophouse in Marina Square, Miri.

KUCHING (July 27): A cryptocurrency mining operation was uncovered at a shophouse in Marina Square, Miri during a joint raid by Sarawak Energy and police to check on suspected electricity theft.

Sarawak Energy in a statement said acting on a public tip-off, the team uncovered 34 cryptocurrency mining servers operating on stolen electricity via direct tapping cables.

“All the equipment used for the mining operation, including the direct tapping cables and servers, were seized. A police report has been lodged and an investigation is currently underway,” the state utility added.

It is estimated that this illegal activity had caused them losses of about RM6,000 per month, it said.

According to Sarawak Energy, cryptocurrency mining consumes a large amount of electricity, as the servers run non-stop and require a cooling system to prevent overheating.

Unfortunately, operators often resort to improper installations, leading to electrical system overload, short circuits, damaged appliances, fires and even loss of life, it said.

“Electricity theft is a serious offence under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years’ jail if found guilty,” it said.

Sarawak Energy said although Sarawak’s customers enjoy the lowest average tariffs in Malaysia, power thefts continue to occur.

In this regard, Sarawak Energy said it remains committed in its fight against electricity theft, collaborating closely with agencies such as the Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication and police.

The company also appreciates the public’s cooperation in its efforts to combat power theft.

Earlier this year, the public’s tip-off led to the discovery of three power theft incidents involving different cryptocurrency mining operations in Senadin.

Authorities seized a total of 137 servers from these locations and investigations are ongoing to hold those responsible accountable.

Members of the public are warned not to fall for claims made by service providers promising reduced electricity usage or unlimited electricity through meter tampering, said Sarawak Energy.

The company also said its meter inspection teams are well-equipped to detect various electricity theft methods, including tampered meters, counterfeit electricity meter covers and underground direct tapping.

Landlords are also advised to be cautious when renting out their premises and ensure that the electricity account is transferred to the tenants to avoid being implicated in power theft activities.

Those with information on suspicious activities related to power theft are encouraged to report by contacting Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre on 1300-88-3111, or emailing to [email protected].

Sarawak Energy assured that all information received will be kept strictly confidential.