MIRI: Since 2021, a total 72 bitcoin mining operations committing power theft were discovered in Sarawak.
Out of these, 46 cases or 64 per cent occurred in Miri.
A total of 161 power outages in this division since last year occurred due to system overload caused by the illegal bitcoin operations in both residential and commercial areas in Miri, said a spokesperson from Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) during a press conference held yesterday.
SEB disclosed that 11 fire cases were linked to cryptocurrency mining in Sarawak, with 10 in Miri division.
Between 2018 and 2022, losses incurred amounted to RM43,918,200 due to power thefts from bitcoin operations.
SEB together with the Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication (MUT) and the police will continue to track down power thefts and the culprits involved as steps to combat such activities.
SEB is cautioning the public against stealing electricity as it is an illegal and dangerous act.
Electricity theft is a criminal offence under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 or five years in jail upon conviction.
Also present at the press conference was Acting Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Zone 6 Miri chief Supt Ahmad Nizam Sapaiee.