Johor cops bust bitcoin mining syndicate for electricity theft, seize 1,746 mining rigs

PASIR GUDANG: The authorities have busted a bitcoin mining syndicate that has been stealing electricity for over a year for its operations at dozens of premises in Johor.

State police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said some 1,746 units of bitcoin mining machines worth RM2.6mil were also seized from 21 premises during a two-day operation with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) from Feb 15 to 16.

"We seized 421 units of the mining machines from five premises in Johor Baru South, 608 machines from eight premises in Seri Alam, 553 machines from six premises in Tangkak and 132 machines from two premises in Muar.

"We believe that the syndicate has been active since the beginning of last year and has caused losses worth RM8.6mil to TNB for electricity theft," he said in a press conference here on Wednesday (Feb 17).

Comm Ayob said seven individuals, aged between 24 and 64, were also arrested during the raids.

"The suspects act as the caretakers of the premises. We are still looking for others involved in the operation, including the mastermind.

"There is also a possibility that the syndicate has links with other such syndicates operating in different states," he said, adding that the suspects had been remanded until Thursday (Feb 18) to assist in investigations.

The case is being investigated under Section 379/427 of the Penal Code for electricity theft and causing mischief to TNB's properties.

Comm Ayob noted that Johor TNB had suffered losses of about RM90mil in 2020 alone due to electricity theft linked to bitcoin mining.

More to come

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