Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau arrested a bitcoin miner, charging him for mining 100 million yuan or around $14.5 million worth cryptocurrencies using stolen electricity. He allegedly used $3.25 million worth electricity from 17 different businesses to mine bitcoin and Ether.
As per a report from EBC Dongsen News, the person, whose surname is Yang, allegedly operated 17 illegal cryptocurrency mining centers using fake storefronts across Taiwan. The said mines were located in the municipalities of Xinbei, Taoyuan, and Hsinchu.
Yang reportedly rented various stores, then redesigned the wiring so that the stolen electricity would not be metered. He then diverted the electricity to fuel his illicit mining operations.
An investigation by Taiwan’s state-owned electricity company, Taiwan Power, regarding a faulty power supply in one of Yang’s shops uncovered the criminal activity.
Wang Zhicheng, the deputy head of Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, said, “The group recruited electricians who managed to break into the sealed meters in order to add in private lines to use electricity for free before that usage reaches the meters.”
Cryptocurrency mining requires enormous power supply, and electricity theft for mining is a recurring problem around the world.