Police in Malaysia’s Jahor state have busted a seven-men gang that stole 8.6 million Malaysian ringgits ($2.15 million) worth of electricity to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
● Police said they seized 1,746 bitcoin (BTC) mining machines across 21 premises in raids carried out between Feb.15 and Feb.16, the Malay Mail reported. The miners are claimed to be worth a combined 2.6 million ringgits ($650,000).
● Seven local suspects aged between 24 and 64 were nabbed in the operation, which involved domestic power company Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).
● “The syndicate, which has been active since the beginning of last year, carried out its activities on the top floor of a shophouse to avoid detection by the authorities,” said Johor’s police chief, Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.
● Ayob Khan added that police are still investigating the operation, whose alleged mastermind and other gang members are still at large.
● “Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the syndicate also has links with syndicates in other states that carry out the same modus operandi used in their bitcoin mining activities,” he said.
● According to Johor TNB, last year the electricity company suffered losses of around 90 million ringgits ($22.5 million) from power thefts related to bitcoin mining.
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