MULTAN-In a grand operation against electricity and gas pilferers, the District Task Force have conducted 280 raids and recovered Rs3.5 million fine money from power and gas thieves besides getting registered FIRs 25 and arresting two.The crackdown against power and gas thieves begun on special orders of the Punjab government and sources said that it would further be stepped up before the start of holy month of Ramazan. The special teams of gas and electricity departments are conducting surprise raids at hotels, restaurants, showrooms, plazas and factories to trace gas or electricity theft while the district administration is learnt to have directed the police to fully support the teams and register cases against the pilferers. The Mepco sources claim that power theft has declined considerably after the launching of current operation and it will continue till complete eradication of theft.Meanwhile, in the drive to hunt down power pilferers, the Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) caught 166 consumers red handed stealing electricity and imposed fine worth over Rs1.2 million on them during the last month (June 2013).Sources said that the Monitoring and Surveillance Teams of Mepco conducted surprise raids in different areas and unearthed 166 power theft cases. The teams also realised Rs358,000 fine money from the power thieves besides launching legal action against them. The power theft cases were detected from Mumtazabad, Nawan Shehr, Cantt, New Multan, Hassanabad, Shujabad, Sikandarabad, Jalalpur Pirwala, Lodhran and Basti Malook sub divisions.