According to a report by Yahoo Taiwan, published on December 26, 2018, a Taiwanese man has been arrested by the local police for allegedly stealing electricity worth over $3 million to mine cryptocurrencies.
$14.5 Million in Mined Cryptocurrencies
The suspect, a man with the surname Yang, has been accused of stealing state electricity for mining digital currencies. Per the report, Yang was able to successfully mine cryptocurrencies worth $14.5 million.
Operating from behind the veil of at least 17 business premises, Yang orchestrated the whole ordeal to mine cryptocurrencies. Yang opened toy shops and internet cafés to cover the alleged crypto mining activities.
Further, the report claims that Yang hired local electricians to rewire the business premises. This was done to bypass electricity metering and conceal the detection of power consumed by mining equipment.
However, it was not long before the state-owned utility provider, the Taiwan Power Company, noticed the inconsistency in the power supply and soon involved the police to look into the matter. Since then, the police have identified a suspected accomplice who was in cahoots with Yang.
“The [suspects] 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.”
Illegal Mining Continues to Be a Menace
Stealing public resources for mining cryptocurrencies is not a new practice on the block. The cryptoverse has witnessed a number of similar instances where individuals have found robust methods to mine crypto for free, only to be caught shortly after.
BTCManager reported on May 1, 2018, how a Chinese family was accused of illegally mining bitcoin by stealing the state’s electricity supply. During the investigation, authorities discovered 15 mining computers and 56 mobile phones primarily used to mine cryptocurrencies.
Similarly, the grim economic environment in Venezuela forced local farmers to steal electricity to mine bitcoin in January 2017. Rampant hyperinflation in the country, coupled with the failure of national cryptocurrency petro has left the South-American nation in the doldrums.
On a more recent note, BTCManager informed on October 9, 2018, how a Chinese man was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for stealing power from a train station to mine the pioneer cryptocurrency. The accused was also fined a sum of $14,500.