Syndicate stealing electricity to mine bitcoin in Penang busted


GEORGE TOWN: Police seized 411 bitcoin mining machines worth a total of RM180, 000 and arrested four suspects during raids on seven shophouses here.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said a combined team from the district police headquarters, state criminal investigation department and Tenaga Nasional conducted four raids in the operation from 11.30pm to 3am on Friday (June 11).

ACP Soffian said the four raids were conducted after questioning four suspects who were arrested after raids on three other premises in Jelutong earlier the same day.

"During the raids at Lintang Hajjah Rehmah, Jelutong, Sungai Dua and Bayan Lepas, police also confiscated four computers, 11 routers, four modems and 10 fans," he said in a statement.

An initial investigation found that all four premises were stealing electricity for bitcoin mining activities.

ACP Soffian said the suspects claimed they were cleaners and only started working two months ago.

He said checks at all four premises raided found evidence of tampering with the electricity supply.

He added the TNB estimated losses of around RM420, 000 over the past two months.

Police are still searching for the syndicate mastermind, who is believed to have been operating for a few months.

The four suspects have been remanded to aid investigations under Section 379 and Section 427 of the Penal Code as well as Section 37 of the Electricity Supply Act 1990.

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Bitcoin , Electricity theft , Police , Penang , TNB

   

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