Sabah police to use preventive laws on masterminds behind water, power thefts


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police is considering using preventive laws against masterminds behind organised theft of electricity and water.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said the laws include the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 1959 to detain those behind the thefts and help the utility companies who faced millions of ringgit losses annually.

Comm Hazani said he had discussed the matter with Bukit Aman, as well as with Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and the Sabah Water Department.

"Action will be taken at the appropriate time," he told reporters after witnessing handing over of duties among seven senior officers at the Kepayan State Police Headquarters here on Monday. (April 4)

He noted Sabah Electricity had lost at least RM30mil to syndicates involved in stealing electricity, while other state water officials have estimated loses of between RM80mil and RM100mil a year.

Comm Hazani explained that they were monitoring the masterminds of the syndicates.

"We believe that certain people in the syndicates are making a lot of money from such thefts," he said without elaborating further.

The two utility companies had previously indicated that certain individuals were stealing electricity and water, which they then supplied to those living in illegal squatter areas in Sabah.

Despite efforts to cut off the illegal electricity and water connections through special operations, thefts continue to occur.

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