Malaysian authorities have arrested a man for allegedly carrying illegal Bitcoin mining operations within the Manjung region as police extend a crackdown on the activity.
In the raid, police arrested the suspect and confiscated equipment used in the activity including 1,720 Bitcoin mining machines, with total seized items totalling about RM3.5 million ($840,100), Bernama reports.
The raid that had targetted 75 premises also resulted in the seizure of 15 units of monitors, 22 computer CPUs, 16 keyboards, 56 modems, a Toyota Hilux vehicle, 44 fans, seven closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras alongside a laptop.
The suspect was identified as a 28-year old individual who was also accused of stealing electricity worth RM2 million ($480,000) to facilitate the illegal activity.
“Police inspected 75 premises around the district, and 30 of them were found to be carrying out illegal bitcoin mining activities and stealing electricity,” said Perak police chief Mior Faridalathrash Wahid.
Following the raid, police are also conducting further investigations to determine how long the operation has been ongoing and uncover any other accomplices involved.
The suspect has been remanded for four days and is expected to be charged for theft and mischief.
Increased crackdown on Bitcoin mining
Amid the 2021 growth of cryptocurrencies, Malaysian authorities have been cracking down on operators despite Bitcoin mining not being classified as illegal in the country. In July, authorities also seized 1,069 Bitcoin mining devices in another operation. The authorities resolved to display the devices publicly and used a steamroller to crush them.
As previously reported by Finbold, police also seized over 400 Bitcoin mining machines worth a total of RM180,000 (or $43,800). The operation that took part in George Town resulted in the arrest of four individuals.
However, other mainstream players are also venturing into commercial mining, with mall operator Hatten Group emerging as a stand out entity. The company, which publicly trades on Singapore’s Catalist exchange, embarked on crypto mining through its premises while leveraging green energy sources.