This Is How Illegal Crypto Miners Stole $723 Million Worth of Electricity Since 2018

Illegal crypto mining operators in Malaysia stole as much as $723 million worth of electricity between 2018 and 2023, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Energy Transition and Water Transformation Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir revealed at an event where about $467,000 worth of seized goods, including Bitcoin mining machines and electrical equipment, were destroyed.

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Consequences for energy company and local communities

Nasir emphasized that these illegal mining operations are not only damaging to Malaysia’s state-controlled energy provider, but also impact local communities in the affected areas. Those who engage in electricity theft typically evade registration with the relevant authorities and bypass electricity meters or divert power from existing lines.

Detection of abnormal energy consumption

While perpetrators often believe their activities will go unnoticed due to the lack of meters at their locations, energy companies are able to identify abnormal energy consumption in an area. These methods allowed Malaysian officials to seize more than 2,000 items during an operation in October 2022.

Tackling illegal mining and unregistered exchanges

Mining cryptocurrency itself is not illegal in Malaysia, but stealing electricity for mining purposes is considered illegal. Malaysian authorities have been cracking down on cryptocurrency miners since August 2019, following the country’s criminal procedure laws. In addition tackling illegal mining operations Authorities have also taken action against unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Huobi Global, which was forced to cease operations for failing to register its trading services.

Dismantling Forex and Crypto Investment Fraud

In May, Malaysian authorities busted a forex investment fraud and cryptocurrency syndicate operating in the country. The syndicate, which laundered money obtained through offshore scams, was busted in a series of raids in the Klang Valley, during which eight local men and two women were arrested and significant amounts of assets seized, including high-end vehicles, luxury watches, cash and frozen bank accounts worth millions of dollars.

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