GEORGE TOWN: Police and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) carried out an integrated operation and successfully clamped down on the theft of electricity supply for conducting bitcoin mining activities at four premises, near here, yesterday.
Penang CID chief SAC Rahimi Mohd Ra’ais said six men, aged between 28 and 51, were nabbed for stealing electricity by making illegal connections without going through a meter and not being registered with TNB in an operation in Taman Seri Delima and the Juru Jaya Business Centre, Bukit Mertajam, from 4pm.
“Police, with TNB, raided the four shophouses following intelligence and monitoring and found illegal connections at all four premises.
“Police also seized numerous equipment, including 322 bitcoin mining machines, cellphones (five), laptops (three) modem (seven), hundreds of electrical cables and two Honda City cars,” he said in a statement.
Rahimi said preliminary investigation found the two-storey and three-storey premises had been used for the activity since a year ago, causing hundreds of thousands of ringgit in losses monthly to TNB.
“Normally, such syndicates will seek two- and three-storey business premises before conducting their activities at the top floor to avoid detection because the process emits a loud noise,” he said.
Rahimi said two of the six men had criminal records, with three of them being remanded for three days and the rest for four days.
He said the case is being investigated under Section 379 and 427 of the Penal Code.
It is understood that each of the premise owners could reap hundreds of thousands of ringgit each month from bitcoin mining activities. — Bernama