Crypto Mining Crackdown in Malaysia: Sarawak Police and Energy Plant Dismantle Illegal Mining Operation

A covert cryptocurrency mining operation, suspected of electricity theft, was uncovered in a Marina Square shophouse in Miri, Malaysia. Representatives from the Sarawak police and Sarawak Energy plant revealed that the successful operation was made possible by a tip-off from the public.

Malaysia’s Sarawak Energy and Police Uncover Illegal Crypto Mining Camp in Miri

The state utility company, Sarawak Energy, and the local police department announced the dismantling of an alleged unauthorized crypto mining camp set up in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. Authorities captured roughly 34 application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners and their associated connections.

“All the equipment used for the mining operation, including the direct tapping cables and servers, were seized. A police report has been lodged and an investigation is currently underway,” Sarawak Energy stated.

Compared to other global regions, electricity rates in Malaysia are relatively low. As such, Sarawak Energy reported a surge in electricity theft incidents over the last few years. This specific case is estimated to have cost the energy plant RM6,000 per month ($1,317).

“Electricity theft is a serious offence under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years’ jail if found guilty,” warned Sarawak Energy. Recently, Malaysian officials cracked down on three additional power theft schemes connected to crypto mines in Senadin.

Allegedly, 137 ASIC devices were seized from these sites while law enforcement continues their investigation. In February 2021, Malaysian authorities apprehended seven individuals for pilfering $2.15 million worth of electricity to mine Bitcoin. In July 2021, Malaysian officials demolished over $1.2 million in Bitcoin mining equipment after confiscating them for illegal operation.

That same month, officials in Miri City, Sarawak seized 1,069 rigs from miners accused of stealing electricity for their operations. A report released on July 27 indicates that Sarawak Energy possesses the necessary tools and meter inspection teams to detect such thefts, including underground direct tapping and tampered meters.

The report detailed that the energy company further noted that it also relies on public tips and encourages locals to continue reporting any suspicious activity to the Sarawak Energy customer care center.

What do you think about the mining operation bust in Miri? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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