Seven people have been arrested in the case.
City police commissioner Yashaswi Yadav said today evening that the racket may have caused revenue loss of hundreds of crores of rupees to power firms in Maharashtra.
The culprits — some of them electricians — tampered with electricity meters of individual customers for money. They installed an electronic circuit inside, which the customer could manipulate through a remote control device so that the meter reading would be much less than the actual power consumption, he said.
These devices were imported from China, Yadav said, adding that the remotes could be potentially used even to detonate bombs.
“We are going to write to the Home Minister’s office asking them to ban the import of such remotes in the interest of national security,” he said.
Joint Managing Director of MSEDCL Omprakash Bakoria said the distribution firm had under its scanner several household meters from affluent areas which consistently recorded consumption of less than 30 units per month.
According to the police, the accused learnt how to rig the meters from YouTube videos.
Cases of power theft have been registered at four police stations in the city under the relevant IPC sections, the commissioner said, without giving more details.