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Thai authorities seize cryptocurrency mining equipment worth more than $5 million as part of electricity theft investigation

This successful action underscores the government’s determination to combat illegal cryptocurrency mining activities, especially in the context of illegal electricity consumption.

Date: 2024-04-29 Author: Marek Stiller
Thai authorities seize cryptocurrency mining equipment worth more than $5 million as part of electricity theft investigation

Thai authorities recently cracked down on a cryptocurrency mining operation suspected of stealing electricity. The raid in Samut Sakhon and Ratchaburi resulted in the seizure of more than 650 mining equipment worth more than 200 million baht (about $5 million).

Acting on information about unusually high electricity consumption, officials from Thailand’s Cybercrime Investigation Bureau and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) secured warrants and searched both locations, the Bangkok Post reported Monday.

The raid in Samut Sakhon targeted a surprising location – a temple complex in Ban Phaeo district. Here, authorities seized 187 cryptocurrency mining equipment. A separate warehouse in Ratchaburi delivered another 465 phones, computers and tablets potentially linked to mining activities.

Three arrested in Thailand for managing illegal cryptocurrency mining operations

Investigators from the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) found evidence of tampering with electricity meters at the two locations, suggesting the theft of electricity worth an estimated 5 million baht ($135,000).

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Authorities have detained three people: Sombat Tangnawadee, Kiatkongel Tumthong and Somwang (last name withheld). During interrogation, all three confessed to directing the mining operations, which had been going on for about two months.

Sombat and Somwang revealed that they oversaw separate locations in Samut Sakhon and Ratchaburi, respectively. They then admitted to illegally importing mining equipment from China with the intention of selling it to cryptocurrency miners.

Global raids target hidden mines

In addition to selling the equipment, the suspects were said to be providing hosting services for the mining machinery. This included housing the equipment and charging a monthly fee of 6200 baht ($167), which allegedly covered electricity costs.

Police revealed that these locations had already been investigated before there were any complaints about cloud mining operations.

The crackdown on illegal cryptocurrency mining is becoming increasingly common. Earlier this month in Russia, police seized more than 3,200 mining platforms from hidden data centers in Siberia. Similarly, Malaysia uncovered three clandestine cryptocurrency mining operations suspected of stealing electricity, operating out of stores and even residences.

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Marek Stiller
Marek Stiller
Founder of the "Cryptocurrency for Beginners" channel on YouTube. He collaborates with Łukasz to form the Arena Trading group, while at the same time being passionate about blockchain technology. His knowledge and experience in the cryptocurrency industry help beginner investors better understand this dynamic market.
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