Arrests, fines amid countrywide crackdown on power theft

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ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE/ KARACHI: In the ongoing nationwide operation to clamp down on power theft, several individuals found guilty of stealing electricity on domestic, commercial, and agricultural levels were arrested on Monday.

The Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) reported that 194 customers were caught stealing electricity and FIRs have been registered against all culprits, leading to the arrest of 25 suspects.

Further, the company disconnected all illegal connections and charged the thieves a total of 528,700 units, amounting to Rs24.168 million in detection bills.

Lesco Chief Executive Officer Engineer Shahid Haider expressed his determination to eradicate power theft, announcing that the operation would continue relentlessly.

He made it clear that all Lesco officers and officials found involved in power theft would face consequences.
The Power Division revealed that a total of eight million units of electricity theft had been detected so far, with 194 arrests made and fines amounting to Rs35.2 million imposed.

Lesco and the Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) have been commended for their effective performances in comparison to other power distribution companies (Discos).

Lesco reported a total of 1,159 cases of electricity theft, while Mepco reported 1,317 cases.

In Sindh, the Task Force for Prevention of Electricity Pilferage announced a province-wide operation to combat power theft and non-payment of bills.

The task force led by Sindh Additional Chief Secretary Home Muhammad Iqbal Memon ordered strict legal action against electricity theft and non-payment of bills, ensuring non-discrimination in targeting offenders.

The task force will seek assistance from the district administration, police, and relevant departments to achieve its goals.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) directed the Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) to crack down on power theft and defaulters. Qesco reported that applications had been submitted to the police for the registration of cases against 387 electricity thieves across the province.

So far, 37 individuals had been arrested, and their electronic devices confiscated.

In addition, meters in commercial plazas, as well as domestic connections, had been checked, and several connections disconnected.

Khuzdar, Sibi, Makran, Pishin and Loralai also witnessed action against defaulters, resulting in the disconnection of 288 connections and the recovery of over Rs100 million.

In Multan, a Mepco raiding team faced a dangerous situation after it was held hostage by over 300 individuals in Basti Parhar, Rajanpur district.

Despite presence of law enforcement personnel, the team managed to escape a potentially fatal attack.

Subsequent operations conducted by Mepco unveiled various cases of electricity theft, with 70 individuals caught in the act.

In one instance, a loop system was discovered within the meter of a former member of the National Assembly’s manager.

The crackdown also revealed electricity theft at the residence of MPA candidate Chaudhry Maqsood Akhtar’s brother, with the candidate himself found to be a defaulter. Legal action had been taken against the culprits in line with the directives of the prime minister.

Additionally, a report highlighted that 229 consumers in South Punjab were involved in electricity theft on Sept 10.
A financial penalty of Rs14.7 million was imposed for the theft of 352,000 units.

Cases had been registered against 33 individuals across 13 districts in South Punjab.

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