Tue, 10 Jun 2003

Police and PLN launch effort against power theft

Police and state electricity firm PLN have agreed to work together to stamp out power theft.

City police spokesman Sr. Comr. Prasetyo announced on Monday that a joint operation, codenamed Operasi Kilat, had started on May 15 and would last a month.

The operation, he said, targeted mainly power theft committed by industrial plants and firms.

"The theft of power by many big plants that use electricity more than their allowable power capacity has caused massive losses to the state," he said.

PLN reported earlier that it suffered annual losses of up to Rp 1.3 trillion due to power theft.

Prasetyo added that in addition to industrial plants, private homes would also be targeted in raids, particularly since power theft by individuals was often less professional done and could cause fires.

The City Fire Department reported that 70 percent of the fires in Jakarta, which average 700 fires annually, were caused by short circuits.

"In the operation, police officers along with officers from PLN will check industrial plants, firms and homes to see whether or not those power users are using electricity in accordance with their allowable power capacity," said Prasetyo.

He said violators would be charged under Criminal Code Article 363 on theft, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. --JP