- The authorities in Sarawak seized nearly 1,300 illegal mining rigs in just the past week.
- The local electricity company says it’s losing over $70,000 monthly on illegal mining operations.
Judging by the electricity cost in Malaysia, the Southeast Asian country is one of the favorable regions for cryptocurrency mining, yet some people choose to run off with the electricity. Within a week, the law enforcement agency in Sarawak, Malaysia, confiscated about 1,290 crypto mining rigs that were being powered using stolen electricity.
Illegal mining crackdown in Sarawak
Following clues from the public, the local electricity company Sarawak Energy and the Ministry of Utilities discovered a crypto mining outlet tapping electricity from the high voltage substation on October 15. This is reportedly the largest electricity theft in the state. About 1,200 mining rigs worth $418,470 (RM1.74 million) and some other devices were confiscated in the raid.
Later on Saturday, the police also discovered another illegal mining site, and “it is estimated that the premises had mined about RM184,000 worth of cryptocurrencies in the last eight months,” said the district police chief ACP Ahsmon Bajah. Among other devices, about 90 mining machines were also seized.
Two men who worked as the caretakers were also detained in the raid as suspects, while the actual owners of the farm were at large.
Over 70k in losses
Digital currencies like Bitcoin are minted via the process of mining. The process requires the use of high computational power to solve mathematical puzzles for block creation which is rewarded for in new coins. These machines consume lots of electricity in order to function at optimum, hence the reason some countries are strict on its regulation, as it can result in several damages, especially when done illegally.
Sarawak Energy said its losses to illegal mining activities are running over $72,150 or over RM300,000 monthly.