The Malaysian government has taken a very drastic measure to destroy more than 1000 illegal cryptocurrency mining machines operating by stealing the country’s electricity. The machines were valued at $1.26 million. They were destroyed by running them over steamrollers.
Malaysian authorities have till now destroyed a total of 1069 cryptocurrency mining machines. These machines were seized during raids between February and April. The raids were conducted jointly by Malaysian police forces and SEB (Sarawak Energy Berhad) in the city of Miri. Eight suspects were also arrested during these raids. The confiscated machines are valued at around 5.3 million Malaysian ringgits, equivalent to $1.26 million. The seized materials were all registered and allowed for destruction by the court at Miri.
Chief of Police of Miri, Hakemal Hawari, has put out a public statement that out of the eight individuals arrested during the raids, six have already successfully been charged under Section 379 for electricity theft. They will also be fined RM 8,000, and they will also have to serve a jail term of up to eight months. Hawari believes that the mining machines were stolen from SEB’s power supply lines and used to illegally mine cryptocurrencies. He stated that SEB is estimated to have lost more than 8.4 million in Malaysian Ringgits due to the electricity stealing and illegal crypto mining activities of the accused.
Electricity theft has become a huge problem in Malaysia, and it is leading to frequent power supply failures and outages all over the country. Three houses were also burned to the ground due to a mishap with stolen electric lines. The Malaysian government is coming down strongly on electricity stealing for illegal Bitcoin mining operations so that citizens do not have to face any more inconvenient blackouts.