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Malaysian government records highest number of energy theft cases related to cryptocurrency mining

This growing problem poses a serious challenge to authorities, as illegal cryptocurrency mining can lead to a significant increase in electricity consumption.

Date: 2024-04-24 Author: Łukasz Michałek
Malaysian government records highest number of energy theft cases related to cryptocurrency mining

Electricity theft in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, for the purpose of mining cryptocurrencies has been a growing problem for several years. Recently, three clandestine cryptocurrency mining operations suspected of stealing electricity were discovered in stores and residential homes in the Miri region.

Representatives of the Sarawak Police and Sarawak Energy’s plant revealed the power company’s estimated monthly losses of 30,000 ringgit ($6276) for stealing electricity to power Bitcoin mines.

According to a recent announcement, the investigation team seized more than 70 cryptocurrency mining servers and other equipment found at the site. What’s more, they discovered that some cryptocurrency mining operators had directly connected electrical cables to avoid meters and thus obtain power illegally.

The report added that the investigation is still ongoing under Section 33(5) of the National Electricity Ordinance. If convicted, the perpetrators face a fine of up to 200,000 ringgit ($42,000) or up to five years in prison.

Sarawak has one of the most competitive electricity tariffs, prompting cryptocurrency operators to start mining operations in the state. However, according to reports, these operations often involve substandard and unsafe wiring posing serious risks, including short circuits, fires, damage to equipment and even loss of life.

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Sarawak Energy remains committed to ongoing cooperation with the Ministry of Utilities and Telecommunications (MUT) and law enforcement agencies to combat energy theft, particularly in cases involving cryptocurrency mining, which has resulted in significant financial losses for the company.”

More than half of the thefts come from one region

More than half of cryptocurrency-related power thefts in Sarawak have been found in the Miri region, according to an investigative team.

“Of the 260 cases detected in Sarawak since 2018, about 60% (156 cases) were detected in Miri,” he noted.

Last September, Sarawak Energy identified two illegal cryptocurrency mining sites, causing repeated power outages in several areas. The electricity thefts caused a monthly loss of about 4 million ringgit ($837,000) for Sarawak Energy.

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Łukasz Michałek
Łukasz Michałek
Founder of the rapidly developing cryptocurrency channel "Biblia Kryptowalut" on YouTube. He also co-creates the Arena Trading group with Marek. Łukasz is fascinated and passionate about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, which constitute the central element of his activity in the cryptocurrency industry.
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