In the past two years, law enforcement authorities in Malaysia have arrested hundreds of individuals for theft of electricity allegedly used to mint digital currencies. The country’s police force has also confiscated equipment worth millions of dollars.
Malaysia Police Announce Results From Crackdown on Illegal Mining
Since 2020, Malaysian authorities have detained a total of 627 people involved in crypto mining activities using stolen electrical power, the country’s Bernama news agency revealed. During the same period, law enforcement officials also seized mining hardware worth 69.8 million Malaysian ringgit ($16.6 million), according to the report.
In a quoted statement, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani noted that the arrests were made as a result of joint efforts with representatives of Malaysia’s Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) electric utility company and the Criminal Investigation Department (JSJ).
As part of the cooperation, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) received nine four-wheel-drive vehicles from the TNB to be used by the JSJ in combating electricity theft across the country. The trucks were handed over to the PDRM by Datuk Baharin Din, TNB’s chief executive officer.
“Royal Malaysia Police expresses its highest appreciation to TNB for its contribution,” Acryl Sani stated while declining to provide further details on the operations against the miners. He called on the Malaysian public to be aware of such activities and report to the police or the utility about any attempts to illegally connect mining equipment to the grid. The police official warned:
Premises owners are also asked to be vigilant before handing over their premises to tenants and to visit the premises regularly to inspect if they are being misused.
The police data has been released after in December Malaysian law enforcement busted a large bitcoin mining operation, confiscating over 1,700 coin minting devices in a major crackdown on electricity theft. More than 70 locations were inspected during the raids carried out with the TNB. Almost half of them were found to be used for illegal crypto mining. Officials claim the facilities have burnt almost $500,000 worth of stolen electricity. Last summer, the Malaysian government destroyed over 1,000 mining rigs.
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Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
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