Four arrested for electricity theft in Penang to mine Bitcoin

GEORGE TOWN: Four men have been arrested for allegedly stealing electricity to conduct Bitcoin mining.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said two men were arrested in a three-storey shop house in Ayer Itam on Jan 15.

He said a combined team from the Bandar Baru police station, district police headquarters and Tenaga Nasional conducted the raid at around 3.30pm.

“Based on a tip-off, we caught them and seized 100 Bitcoin mining machines worth RM100,000 in the premises as well as a few computers.

“Initial inspection found that there was an illegal power connection to steal electricity.

“We arrested another two men in Ayer Itam in connection with this case,” he said in a press statement on Saturday.

ACP Soffian said estimated losses suffered by Tenaga Nasional was RM24,000.

“All four men are from Penang aged from 27 to 36.

“They have no criminal records and all four tested negative for drugs,” he said.

ACP Soffian said the operation had been in operation since Jan 1 this year.

“The case is being investigated under Section 379 (for theft) and Section 427 of the Penal Code (for committing mischief and thereby causing loss or damage).