BUTTERWORTH: Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has lost tens of thousands of ringgit monthly due to electricity theft by illegal bitcoin operators in the state.
The bitcoin operators had powered their businesses that were set in hidden locations throughout Penang, by hooking-up cables on TNB poles.
Authorities, however, managed to arrest the activity after raiding 22 bitcoin mining premises since yesterday in a series of joint raids by the Energy Commission (ST), Seberang Prai City Council, TNB, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and the Inland Revenue Board.
ST enforcement and regional operations director Mohd Elmi Anas said the raids were conducted based on a tip-off and surveillance works over the past two weeks.
Mohd Elmi said the authorities managed to track down the source of the theft following incidents of blown fuses at premises with low electricity bills.
“We then carried out our surveillance before discovering a Bitcoin premises which operated by stealing electricity,” he said after a raid at one of the 22 premises near Seberang Jaya here today.
Today’s raid saw the seizure of 80 Bitcoin machines and other computer equipment.
“It is estimated that the (22) premises stole about 320-ampere metre electricity supply, which according to TNB’s calculation, resulted in RM24,000 losses monthly for each premises,” he said.
Those with information on any premises running the Bitcoin business by resorting to electricity theft can lodge a complaint with the ST or TNB for further action.
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