It seems that Malaysian law enforcement agencies are not taking illegal mining farms as a joke, because eight people were arrested in Miri province on charges of stealing electricity to power a giant Bitcoin mining farm that was set up by no less than 1,069 ASICs.
To give us an idea, each of these ASICs consume around 1,300W of energy, that is why Malaysia has begun to take measures against the theft of electricity throughout the country linked to mining cryptocurrencies without any type of cost beyond equipment.
The ASICs were confiscated after six raids carried out on properties near an airport in the Sarawak region. The raids were carried out in a joint operation between the Malaysian authorities and local power company Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB). These suspects allegedly found a way to divert electricity from SEB’s power lines to power Bitcoin mining machines, stealing nearly € 1.7 million worth of electricity over three months.
Yesterday, the destruction of these ASICs was authorized. To make it impossible to retrieve any units, authorities placed mining equipment on the ground and crushed one by one by means of a steamroller as a warning of what will happen if they find another farm that feeds on the network illegally.
“The theft of electricity for Bitcoin mining activities has led to frequent power outages and in 2021, three houses were razed (by electrical fires) due to illegal power supply connections,” Miri Police Chief said, ACP Hakemal Hawari, to the local newspaper The Star.
“A total of six people have been successfully charged under Section 379 of the Penal Code for electricity theft and have been fined up to RM 8,000 (1,600 euros) and imprisoned for up to eight months.”