Authorities in Sarawak, Malaysia have used a road compactor to destroy more than one thousand cryptocurrency mining rigs seized earlier this year after court proceedings had been finalised.
The 1,069 cryptocurrency mining rigs valued at some RM5.3million (about US$1.26 mln) were seized in a series of raids by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and police in Miri, on the northwest coast of Borneo, between February and April.
Eight people were arrested during the raids for theft of electricity to power the mining rigs, with Miri police chief, assistant commissioner of police Hakemal Hawari, saying the crypto miners are stolen more than RM8.4 million ($2 mln) of electricity.
“The electricity theft for mining bitcoin activities has caused frequent power outages and in 2021, three houses were razed due to illegal electricity supply connections”, he told Bernama news agency.
Mr Hawari said six people had been successfully charged under Section 379 of the Penal Code for electricity theft and have been fined up to RM8,000 ($1.885 mln) and jailed for up to eight months.
Section 37 of Malaysia’s Electricity Supply Act threatens those who tamper with power lines with fines of up to RM100,000 ($23,570) and five years in prison.
Mr Hawari said the destruction of the cryptocurrency mining rigs was done in accordance with a court order that the devices be destroyed.
Although cryptocurrency mining is not illegal in Malaysia the process requires massive amounts of often greenhouse producing electricity to operate putting local power grids under immense stress. electricity theft is a common problem. According to Mr Hawari there are “no other active mining operations underway currently”.
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- Eight arrested over power theft, 1,069 bitcoin mining machines worth RM5.3mil seized (The Star)
- Viral video shows Malaysian police destroying 1,069 bitcoin mining rigs with a steamroller (CNBC)