Malaysian police have shut down a bitcoin mining operation and seized 1,720 bitcoin mining machines in a massive crackdown on electricity theft following public complaints. “Police inspected 75 premises around the district and 30 of them were found to be engaged in illegal bitcoin mining and stealing electricity.”
Malaysian authorities stop Bitcoin mining
Malaysian police have cracked down on a major electricity theft case involving bitcoin mining, local media reported. Perak Police Chief Datuk Mior Faridalathrash Wahid told a press conference at the Manjung District Police Headquarters on Thursday that the crackdown was carried out following complaints from the public.
Noting that the operation involved the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and the Sitiawan Fire and Rescue Station, the police chief explained:
This operation is the biggest success with TNB this year.
He noted that according to TNB, the theft of electricity was worth around 2 million RM ($ 478,870).
“Police inspected 75 premises around the district and 30 of them were found to be carrying out illegal bitcoin mining and stealing electricity,” the police chief said, adding :
We seized 1,720 bitcoin mining machines.
In addition, “15 monitors, 22 central processing units (CPU), 16 keyboards, seven mice, 56 modems and a laptop” were also seized, detailed the police chief. He added: “A Toyota Hilux, 44 exhaust fans, five alarms and seven closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras were also seized.
Mior Faridalathrash explained that further investigation is underway to identify the mastermind behind the illegal bitcoin mining operation and how long it has been going on.
Police also arrested a 28-year-old Ayer Tawar warden on suspicion of carrying out illegal bitcoin mining activities and involvement in the theft of electricity. The police chief noted:
The arrested man was remanded in custody for four days and is under investigation under articles 379 and 427 of the Criminal Code and the Electricity Supply Act 1990.
In July, Malaysian authorities completely destroyed 1,069 bitcoin mining machines with a steamroller. The parts were confiscated earlier this year.
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