An operation carried out by the police in Miri (Malaysia) between February and April 2021 resulted in the seizure of several hundred machines used to mine Bitcoins illegally. The 1,069 computers were powered by stolen electricity following a wild connection to the grid of the supplier Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), reports the local media The Star. The devices were then destroyed by a steamroller on Friday.
The scene filmed at Miri Police Headquarters was uploaded to YouTube the same day. We see the operator of the work machine performing several maneuvers to pass on each of the computers strewn on the ground. The dismantling of the underground Bitcoin mining operation was carried out jointly with SEB.
Six people convicted of theft of electricity
The electricity company lost 8.4 million Malaysian ringgits, or nearly 1.7 million euros, in the embezzlement, said police chief Hakemal Hawari. “The theft of electricity for mining Bitcoins caused frequent blackouts and in 2021, three houses were destroyed due to illegal connection to the electricity grid,” said the official.
The total value of the destroyed computers was estimated at 5.3 million Malaysian ringgits (just over 1 million euros). Eight people were arrested in connection with the operation. Six individuals were indicted and sentenced for theft of electricity. They each received a fine, the highest of which reached 8,000 ringgits (approximately 1,600 euros). The defendants were also sentenced to prison terms of up to eight months.