Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), Malaysia’s state-owned electricity company has raided 33 buildings illegally using its energy for bitcoin mining operations that gulped RM3.2 million (roughly $763k) worth of power whereas they only paid a bill of only RM219 ($52), according to a report by local news source, malaymail August 7, 2019.
Malaysian Energy Thieves Caught
Per sources close to the matter, officials of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), Malaysia’s major electric utility, have uncovered illegal bitcoin mining operations being orchestrated by electricity thieves in 33 premises in the Kuantan area.
According to the general manager metering distributing network, Siti Sarah Johana Mohd, investigations carried out by the company revealed that the miners had been mining bitcoin at the location for six months without paying their exact electricity bills.
To cover their tracks, the miners allegedly connected their mining equipment directly to the electricity distribution board without passing it through the meter.
This way, TNB’s metering devices could not reflect the correct amount of energy being used by the miners.
TNB says the miners only connected a lamp and a suction fan to the metering device, making it show just 3 Amps rather than the actual 1,500 Amp used.
“The metered 3 Amp is energy used by only 1 lamp and a suction fan. They paid a bill of $52 whereas they should have been billed RM108,000 per month for the unmetered 1,500 Amp,” declared Mohd, adding that the account holder would have to pay the arrears in the bill.
The official also made it clear that the Energy Commission had always made it a point of duty to warn landlords against tenants who have very huge energy needs and possibly transfer the building’s electricity account to the tenant’s name.
In the same vein, the official’s have also urged members of the public to promptly report suspected illegal mining activities in their areas.
With the crypto summer now upon us, the bitcoin mining business has become quite lucrative once again and some miners are bent on getting rich quick at all cost.
In related news, earlier in June 2019, BTCManager reported that Iranian authorities had confiscated 1,000 bitcoin mining machines from miners who made use of government-subsidized electricity.