A Malaysian electricity firm has recently raided the facility of several bitcoin mining facilities based on the suspicion that they might have been using power illegally.
From reports presented by Malaysian news outlets, the electricity provider suffered damages of over $760,000 because of the illicit bitcoin mining activities.
The Malaysian authorities found in their investigation that almost 33 bitcoin mining facilities in Kuantan, the capital city of Pahang, illegally used electricity sourced from one of Malaysian’s major electricity distribution companies, Tenaga Nacional Berhad (TNB). The miners stole power direct from the company, bypassing the meters that would have recorded their huge consumption.
Siti Sarah Johana Mohd Said, the General manager metering and distributing network at TNB, said regarding the method through which the bitcoin miners stole and deceived the company:
“The metered 3 Amp was used only for one lamp and a suction fan. They paid a bill of only RM219 whereas they should have been billed RM108,000 a month for the unmetered 1,500 Amp.”
According to Mohd Said, investigations showed that bitcoin mining activities were established in Kuantan since February 2019.
In the first bitcoin mining location, authorities found that the meter that displayed just 3 Amp, actually used 1,500 Amp. The TNB Security Service Department then went on to raid the Kuantan location in the next morning.
From the 33 premises raided, only 23 of them showed concrete evidence that there had been active bitcoin mining operations. The other 10 facilities got rid of any signs of mining activities once they found out the company was being raided.
The TNB General Manager warned local to keep an eye out for bitcoin mining premises that might illegally be tapping electricity and encouraged them to report any suspicious activity to the electricity provider.
Another similar example would be the case of a Chinese teacher who was caught using the school’s electricity system to secretly mine Ethereum.
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