The authorities in Malaysia have arrested five individuals who have been allegedly using electricity to mine cryptocurrency without paying for it. Malaysian police nabbed people operating the mining rig following the discovery that they were stealing electricity from a power company owned by the government, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).
According to a report by Malay Mail, the operators have been using electricity supply valued at a minimum of RM 250,000 per month without paying, said Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).
They discovered the operators’ illicit activities during a two-day joint operation carried out by SEB, the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) from Sarawak Ministry of Utilities and the police in recent times.
They discovered the illicit activity at mining centres located in four different shophouses at Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, Jalan Pahlawan and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. Specifically, they tapped electricity directly in an unsafe manner from the main incoming supply. They bypassed the meter to avoid true electricity consumption measurements.
The monthly electricity bills of the five shophouses total about RM 800 to RM 1000 and the actual load readings taken on site revealed that they were using electricity valued at a minimum of RM 250,000 every month. Investigations continue and the owners of the premises will likewise be called for assistance.
The efforts of both EIU and SEB have led to the investigation of almost 50 electricity theft cases related to cryptocurrency mining operators in the country since 2018. In Malaysia, it is a criminal offence to steal electricity and it carries a penalty of up to RM 100,000 and/or five years imprisonment.
Similarly, Kyrgyzstan authorities in recent times discovered an illicit cryptocurrency mining farm within a local free economic zone. A few days ago, some researchers said cryptocurrency mining comes up with an unexpected load requiring further resources.