ALOR SETAR, Jan 31 — Police have arrested seven individuals suspected of being involved in bitcoin mining activities from Jan 19 until today through Op Letrik Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Bitcoin.
Kedah Police chief CP Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad said they also seized 3,245 bitcoin mining machines, with the total seizure amounting to an estimated RM3.2 million.
“Op Letrik TNB Bitcoin was launched nationwide in 2020 and, so far, Kedah police have successfully seized 5,948 bitcoin machines through 85 raids, with the total seizure estimated at RM6.6 million.
“The modus operandi of these syndicates is to make illegal electrical connections and use the business premises or residential houses as a platform to carry out their activities.
“The suspects will hire workers who are good at making illegal connections and to guard the premises. Their activities have caused electricity supply disruptions to local residents,” he told a media conference at the Kedah Police Contingent Headquarters here today.
Wan Hassan said the current price for a unit of mining machine was between RM1,000 and RM1,500, with each of unit using an estimated electricity supply worth between RM400 and RM500 a month through 24-hour activation.
He said all the suspects, aged between 35 and 45, have been remanded and investigation is being conducted under Section 379 and Section 427 of the Penal Code as well as Section 37(3) of the Electricity Supply Act 1990.
He also urged members of the public, who have information on bitcoin mining activities, to contact any police station or the Kedah Police hotline at 04-7741222.
In another development, he said that police would, in conjunction with the Chinese New Year, focus on areas in Sungai Petani, Kulim and Baling that have been identified as hotspots for accidents.
“Traffic flow during the festive period will increase by three times compared to normal days and it is estimated that 200,000 vehicles will enter Kedah during the Chinese New Year period. So, we will carry out monitoring, especially the heavy vehicles,” he said.