MIRI, 26 April: Authorities cut off illegal mining cryptocurrency from its electricity supply, as the energy-intensive process had caused power outages in the city.
The ‘oil town’ faced multiple power outages complaints from residents prompting Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) to conduct an investigation, which led them to a rented house along Jalan Jee Foh, where the illegal activities took place.
It was found that the cause of the outage was due to a burnt cable caused by a system overload.
Initial investigation revealed that one of the houses in the area was consuming an unusually high amount of electricity, which raised suspicions of electricity theft.
The police were then alerted for a joint inspection.
During the inspection, 30 units of mining rigs and other equipment used to mine cryptocurrency were found, along with evidence of meter tampering.
“The team also found direct tapping cables connected directly to the servers, bypassing the electricity meter. The electricity meter was also found tampered with shunting wires and magnets attached,” the statement said.
SEB also found that previous billing records of the tenant were unreasonably low around RM50-60 per month as most of the consumed electricity was unrecorded, and it estimated to have incurred losses of RM11,400 per month or RM410,400 over three years in unregistered electricity consumption in the case was not discovered.
“Non-standard fuses and illegal wiring connections commonly used in electricity theft can easily overload the electrical system capacity, increasing the risk of short circuits, damaging appliances, causing fires and even loss of lives,” SEB warned.
All cryptocurrency mining rigs, equipment, direct tapping cables and electricity meter were dismantled and seized by the police.
The landlord was also called to witness the seizure of items.
Electricity theft is a criminal offense under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years in jail if found guilty.
To report any suspicious activities related to electricity theft, members of the public can contact Sarawak Energy’s Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email at [email protected] TVS
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