SIBU: Pahlawan commercial area, infamous for meter tampering activities, has been placed under Sesco’s close monitoring since the last two years.
Sesco is keeping a close watch on the customers’ electricity consumption pattern and strict auditing on the energy sent out and received to detect any discrepancy.
Once abnormality is detected, site inspection would be triggered, said a Sesco’s spokesperson, adding in recent triggered operation, Sesco meter inspection teams had detected many tampering cases in the commercial area concerned.
He said many were found to be repeat cases, adding out of 430 meters inspected, 12% were found to have been tampered with.
The spokesperson said Sesco had also lodged police reports against the customers concerned and they were being called in for interview to assist in the investigation.
“We urge customers not to be continually duped by the power theft service providers that Sesco will not be able to detect the illegal connection or Sesco teams will not come to carry out regular inspection.”
The spokesperson said offenders would not only be liable to face criminal penalty charge but also to settle the arrears bill.
He said normally the service provider would promise to help the customers if they get caught but in most cases they would be gone once Sesco detect the illegal tapping.
“In addition to the criminal act, the modified or tampered wirings can also endanger the safety of the occupants and may cause fire to the property” said the spokesperson.
In the operation at Jalan Pahlawan Commercial, meter inspection teams found many re-tampering cases at entertainment outlets and trading businesses in which the electricity consumption is high.
The spokesperson said one of the tampering methods detected for the re-tampering accounts in Pahlawan Commercial Centre was illegal direct tapping via mains wiring.
The direct tapping is connected directly to the customer’s electrical distribution board or electrical appliances without passing through Sesco meters.
This resulted in the actual electricity consumption of the premises not to be recorded by Sesco meters hence low monthly electricity bill.
He said in one of the cases, the direct tapping wire was concealed in the wall of the building and Sesco technicians had to break some parts of the wall in order to locate the direct connection.
“This type of tampering is very dangerous because it does not have protection system to trip the circuit in the event of fault hence will lead to fire.”
The spokesperson said the repeat meter tampering customers had been included in Sesco’s ‘blacklist’, where their accounts were being strictly monitored by Sesco dedicated team.
Besides that, regular meter inspection will be carried out for these ‘blacklist’ customers.
Sesco is also working closely with the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of the Public Utilities Ministry to take legal action against these repeat offenders.
The public can continue to report to Sesco on any meter tampering case via Sesco hotline 082-443 535.
All information received will be kept strictly confidential.