Malaysian Bitcoin Mining Gang Stole Over $2M in Electricity, Say Police

Police seized 1,746 bitcoin mining machines across 21 premises in raids this week.

Feb 18, 2021 at 9:40 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:13 p.m. UTC

Authorities in Johor state, Malaysia, arrested seven men for stealing millions of dollars worth of electricity to mine bitcoin earlier this week.

  • An operation involving the local electricity company Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and Johor police led to the arrest of the suspects aged between 24 and 64, according to a Malay Mail report Wednesday.
  • The investigation found the gang had cost TNB 8.6 million Malaysian ringgits (US$2.13 million) in lost revenue since it started mining activities in 2020.
  • The police seized 1,746 bitcoin mining machines worth a claimed RM2.6 million ($64,000) across 21 premises.
  • “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.
  • Police are still investigating the operation and trying to track down the mastermind of the group and other members who are still at large, he added.
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