Police in Johor, Malaysia have arrested seven suspects from a bitcoin mining syndicate that allegedly stole RM8.6 million ($2m) worth of electricity from the Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).
The syndicate has allegedly been altering electrical meters to make their locations look like they were using less power than they actually were.
Charges were filed under Section 37 (3) of the Malaysian Electricity Supply Act 1990 against the registered account owner of the line that was being used to steal electricity.
The seven suspects were allegedly in charge of maintaining the facilities and will be charged for their involvement.
“The police are conducting further investigations to track down the mastermind of the syndicate and other members who are still at large,” said Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.
Pitchay also said that the syndicate might be connected to similar operations in other states.
In addition to the arrests, 1,746 bitcoin mining machines were also seized by the Johor Criminal Investigation Department and the Southern Zone Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Seal Team in Johor Bahru, Muar, and Tangkak.
According to Pitchay TNB Johor lost around RM90 million due to stolen electricity used in bitcoin mining activities.
There was also a recent raid in Sarawak where five mines were found and 759 mining computer rigs were seized, but no arrests were made.
The Sarawak police said that the miners caused the Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) to lose RM4.32 million.
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.