Man found dead in a drain clutching power cables

KOTA KINABALU: A man, suspected to be a power thief, was found dead in a drain full of electric cables behind a factory at Inanam here.

The man, whose identity has yet to be determined and was also clutching some of the cables, was believed to have been electrocuted.

Kota Kinabalu acting OCPD Supt George Rakman said some witnesses claimed they heard voices from behind the factory at about 3am on Sunday but did not go to check.

He said the factory workers only saw the motionless man in the drain at about 10am which prompted them to inform their supervisor.

"An inspection found many cables hidden in the ground and drains in the area, believed to be used by squatters from the nearby Kg Lembaga Padi settlement.

“We are awaiting a forensics report on his death, ” he said on Tuesday (April 5).

Meanwhile, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) is seeking public assistance to inform them of illegal power connections in the state in view of the continuous power thefts despite various efforts to check the crime.

SESB senior general manager for asset management Norhizami Abu Hasan said they had been conducting checks for power theft and crackdowns at high-risk areas and places where such activities were known to be rampant.

“But we still get reports of power theft. Stealing electricity not only affects SESB but also puts a potential thief’s life at risk and disrupts the power supply for thousands of customers.

“We will continue the crackdown on power theft but we are also calling for more public assistance to help us, provide us with information of such activities so that we can better combat this crime, ” he said.

He said the public can lodge a complaint or give information on power theft through SESB’s toll-free number at 15454.

Norhizami added that power theft was not only confined to squatter colonies but factory operators, hotels and individuals have also been found to be involved in such activity.

"There are also house owners who are found to be ‘supplying and selling’ electricity illegally through their own power supply, ” he said.

He said the SESB would continue to increase awareness on the issue through corporate social programmes as well as print and electronic media.

Norhizami reminded the public that stealing power supply was an offence and the offender could either be jailed or fined upon conviction.

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