Malaysian authorities have raided two premises after receiving a signal that an undisclosed number of people have been stealing electricity to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The perpetrators of the illegal operation have stolen more than $600,000 worth of electricity in three years.
Illegal Crypto Mining Operations Busted In Malaysia
The operation led jointly by the Energy Commission (ST), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Iskandar Puteri City Council, and the Inland Revenue Board took place at two premises in the city of Iskandar Puteri, according to a local report from earlier today.
Johor ST regional director Nazlin Alim Sadikhi explained that the authorities have found that “illegal wiring was installed so that electricity was supplied directly and not through the TNB meter.”
She revealed that the first premises had been operational for three years and contained 100 cryptocurrency mining machines, while the second started the illegal endeavor in 2018 and had 48 mining rigs.
Sadikhi explained that all machines operated round-the-clock, thus raising the electricity consumption. The authorities disclosed that the estimated total theft of electricity amounted to RM 2.5 million (over $600,000) for all years being active.
“In most cases, the owners of the premises were in cahoots with the cryptocurrency mining operators. They have similar operations methods where they have illegal wiring installed to the mining machines to draw electricity supply illegally.” – commented TNB team engineer Mohd Satari Mohamad.
He also highlighted the growing threat of similar operations as authorities have raided nearly 300 such cryptocurrency mining premises in the region since 2018.
$1.5M Electricity Theft For Crypto Mining In Bulgaria
Another recent report indicated that two Bitcoin mining farms were located in the city of Kyustendil, Bulgaria. Local authorities apprehended two men for illegally funneling electricity for their mining operations running for at least six months.
Philip Yordanov, Deputy Director of CEZ Bulgaria – the Czech-headquartered company responsible for the electric supply in the region, described the theft as the “largest one in the country to date.”
Per his estimations, the perpetrators have stolen electricity for about BGN 2.5 million (about $1.5 million), which equals the entire city’s consumption for a whole month during the summer.
Although the authorities didn’t reveal how many mining rigs were at the two premises, they described the illegal operations as “very professionally conducted.”