Malaysian Police Shut Down 3 Crypto Mining Operators Over Alleged Electricity Theft
With electricity theft becoming more common in Malaysia for cryptocurrency mining, the Malaysian police shut down three cryptocurrency mining operations in Klang on Thursday.
In a joint operation with the Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Klang Municipal Council, at least 12 suspects were arrested for allegations involving electricity theft. Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said they had recorded a total of 7,209 cases of electricity theft since 2018, resulting in over $549 million in losses.
“We carried out raids on three premises in Bandar Puteri and Bayu Perdana, arrested 12 men, and seized RM65,000 worth of cryptocurrency mining machines,” said South Klang OCPD Asst Commissioner Cha Hoong Fong.
According to law enforcement, of the twelve suspects arrested, the background checks for seven of them returned with prior criminal records.
“The suspects were aged between 18 and 43. Background checks showed seven of them have prior criminal records.”
Cha added the suspects were employed as technicians and caretakers to maintain the crypto mining operations. The three mining activities earned over $35,000 in profits (RM 150,000) within two months, based on initial estimates. However, the suspects are believed to have stolen just over $14,000 (RM 60,000) worth of electricity.
“We are investigating if the suspects are working together with the meter readers to avoid getting caught,” Cha added.
Electricity theft from crypto miners is becoming too common
In January this year, Malaysian authorities arrested a 28-year-old man in the state of Perak in the Manjung District for allegedly running illegal Bitcoin mining activities using stolen electricity.
The Perak police chief said the operations discovered at least 30 mining sites, stealing close to $478,000 worth of electricity.
Between January and February, police have already raided five premises, seizing 131 mining machines.