Malaysian state of Sarawak hits record high for cryptocurrency-related power theft incidents

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April 23, 2024 06:47 EDT
| 1 minute read

In the Malaysian state of Sarawak, power theft for the purpose of cryptocurrency mining has become a problem in recent years. Recently, three secret crypto mining operations suspected of power theft were uncovered at shops and residences in the Miri area.

Sarawak Police and Sarawak Energy Factory representatives have revealed that the electricity company is estimated to be losing 30,000 ringgit ($6,276) a month due to theft of electricity from a Bitcoin mining operation. revealed.

around recent releasesthe investigation team seized more than 70 cryptocurrency mining servers and other devices found at the scene.

Furthermore, it has been discovered that some virtual currency mining operators are bypassing meters and directly wiretapping power cables to illegally obtain electricity.

The investigation is still ongoing under Article 33, Section 5 of the country’s Electricity Ordinance, the report added. If convicted, violators face a fine of up to 200,000 ringgit (about $42,000) or up to five years in prison.

Sarawak has one of the most competitive electricity prices, prompting crypto operators to set up mining operations in the state. However, the report says these works often involve non-standard and unsafe wiring, posing significant risks such as short circuits, fire, equipment damage and even loss of life.

“Sarawak Energy is committed to its continued cooperation with the Ministry of Utilities and Telecommunications (MUT) and law enforcement agencies to combat power theft, especially incidents involving cryptocurrency mining that have caused significant financial losses to the company. We will continue to work on it.”

More than half of cryptocurrency-related power thefts found in Sarawak’s Miri region


According to the investigation team, more than half of the crypto-related electricity theft cases in Sarawak were found in Miri region.

“Of the 260 cases detected in Sarawak since 2018, around 60 per cent (156 cases) were detected in Miri,” the report said.

In September last year, Sarawak Energy identified two illegal cryptocurrency mining sites that caused repeated power outages in several areas. These power thefts cost Sarawak Energy approximately 4 million ringgit ($837,000) per month.

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