Bitcoin machines worth RM5.3 mln destroyed

ACP Hakemal crushing a total of 1,069 machines used for bitcoin mining with a road roller at Miri IPD on Friday.

MIRI: Police have destroyed 1,069 machines worth RM5.3 mln used for bitcoin mining.

District police chief ACP Hakemal Hawari revealed that the disposal of the machines was carried out at the Miri police headquarters (IPD).

He also disclosed that police, along with Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sesco) personnel, raided six premises carrying out illegal bitcoin mining around the city from February to April this year.

“Eight individuals were arrested for stealing electricity for the purpose of bitcoin mining.

“Aside from that, authorities also seized 1,069 machines with an estimated value of RM5.3 mln,” he said on Friday (July 16).

ACP Hakemal (left) and others looking at the seized bitcoin machines worth RM5.3mil.

Six individuals were charged in court under Section 379 of the Penal Code for stealing electricity.

All were fined up to RM8,000 and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of up to eight months.

ACP Hakemal pointed out that Sesco suffered a loss of RM8.4 mln due to power theft in the district.

Bitcoin mining activities also resulted in frequent power outages. “This year alone, three houses caught fire as a result of illegal electricity supply connections.”

He warned bitcoin mining operators against making any illegal wire connection as it was a safety hazard.

He added that police and Sesco would increase operations to detect illegal wiring connections related to bitcoin mining activities.

ACP Hakemal crushing 1,069 bitcoin machines with a road roller at Miri IPD.