The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM) has uncovered a complicated syndicate that has allegedly been carrying out illegal connections of electricity supply to customers in Blantyre City. As a result, six suspects including five ESCOM employees, have been arrested

The discovery is a result of a reformist approach that ESCOM has embarked on, in its quest to serve its customers better.

ESCOM investigators who are carrying out inspections at customers’ premises uncovered the connections when a customer revealed that a middle man had connected his newly constructed dwelling house. When questioned, the middle man implicated some ESCOM employees, leading to the arrest of the five members of staff.

In the operation, ESCOM has established that 50 premises were illegally connected. It is expected that more arrests will be effected as investigations are still underway.

Only two weeks ago, ESCOM busted another syndicate that was engaged in illegal connections of electricity in Lilongwe City. The Lilongwe operation yielded ESCOM close to K15 million in recovered revenue and penalties.

ESCOM is appealing to customers who know or suspect that they might have been illegally connected to report to their nearest ESCOM office. ESCOM will enter into discussions with such customers for an amicable settlement. However, where ESCOM discovers such customers through its own investigations, the whole installation will be removed and the law will take its course.

ESCOM wishes to inform the general public that illegal connections and meter bypasses are contributing to frequent power outages, serious accidents that result to bodily harm, loss of life and property and loss of revenue for the corporation.

Kindly note that ESCOM transmits and distributes power according to demand registered in its system. Any meter bypasses or illegal connections, therefore, bene􀃶t outside ESCOM’s power plans and exert undue pressure on supply.

ESCOM further reminds its customers and the general public that it is a serious crime to illegally connect to the national grid and that it is dangerous to use unlicensed technicians to wire their premises.

In another development, three people have been arrested for vandalising ESCOM cables in Bangwe Township in Blantyre while three more people have been arrested in Lilongwe on similar crime. The arrests were facilitated by alert residents of the cities.

ESCOM is encouraging members of the general public to alert the Corporation of any suspected illegal connections or meter bypasses on the following toll free numbers: 847 (for TNM, Access and Airtel subscribers) and 80000847 for MTL subscribers.