Officials within the Malaysian state of Johor have seized 2 cryptocurrency mining operations that had stolen over $600k worth of electricity over 3-years.
In line with a recent report from native reporting media The Star, Malaysia’s Energy Commission, power utility firm TNB [Tenaga Nasional Berhad] and native officials arrested individuals liable for the theft of over $600k in electricity employed for cryptocurrency mining purposes. The authorities raided two mining operations within the city of Iskandar Puteri.
A regional director with the country’s Energy Commission, Nazlin Alim Sadikhi, added that one among the crypto mining operations with 100 rigs had been operating nonstop for 3 years. While the other setup with 48 rigs chugged along mining crypto for 2 years. The owners only paid $7-14 monthly for electricity, but along side the rig operators siphoned almost $20k worth of power consumption monthly.
Adding further, Sadikhi said:
“We found that illicit wiring was installed in order that electricity was supplied directly and not via the TNB meter.”
Under Section 37 of Malaysia’s Electricity Supply Act, those who steal electricity in some place aside from a “domestic installation” for over one offence face a maximum penalty of $1.2 Mln or 10 years’ imprisonment. However, The Star reported the individuals liable for the recent theft may face 10 years in remission or a max fine of $240k if found guilty.
TNB engineer Mohd Satari Mohamad said authorities had raided 90 similar installations within this year, totaling 288 since 2018. As reported last year also, TNB had lost over $25 Mln in electrical costs as of June last year, with one August raid taking down 33 operations that had stolen $760k worth of power.