Malaysian electricity utility raids 33 unmetered BTC mining operations
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), a Malaysian principal electricity utility authority, recently raided 33 SegWitCoin (BTC) mining operations accused of stealing electricity. The unmetered mining activities were reportedly being carried out for the past 6 months near the state capital of Pahang, Kuantan.
According to the local media reports, authorities conducted the raid on August 7 at 10:30 am. The operation consisted of 30 special TNB team members and 5 personnel from the security services department. The raid was conducted after the utility obtained a search warrant from the Kuala Lumpur magistrates’ court.
In the first premises, which was conducted at Kapung Jaja Gading, the team found an unmanned BTC mining premise that was using 1500 Amps of unmetered electricity, while metered electricity only registered at 3 Amps
Siti Sarah Johana Mohd, the Distributing Network General Manager on elaborating the incident stated:
The metered 3 Amp was used only for one lamp and a suction fan. They paid a bill of only 219 Malaysian ringgit ($52) whereas they should have been billed 108,000 Malaysian ringgit ($25,674) a month for the unmetered 1,500 Amp.
TNB collected evidence that 23 premises were running Bitcoin mining activities while the other 10 premises were aware of our raid this time around and destroyed the evidence.
Reportedly, the BTC miners not only used high power computer networks mining equipment but also deployed electricity power directly from the distributor board to the machine bypassing the meter.
As a result of the illegal cryptocurrency mining operations, TNB incurred a loss of 3.2 million Malaysian ringgit ($760,736) from stolen electricity.
While addressing the incidents, the Energy Commissioner of Malaysia urged premise owners to be aware of such illegal activities going on in their premises. He encouraged landlords to transfer utility bills, such as electricity accounts to the name of their tenants.
Energy theft in BTC mining is not new. Recently in June, authorities in China discovered that a few crypto miners in the country were stealing energy from local oil wells to power their mining equipments. According to the report, these individuals had connected pipes to the wells that helped them get access to the energy. All this was done to avoid paying the huge bill that comes with mining cryptocurrencies.
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