NIBONG TEBAL, Feb 22 — A double-storey terrace house in Hijauan Hills and a nearby business premises was raided by the Energy Commission and Tenaga Nasional Berhad for suspected illegal electrical theft for bitcoin mining.

Nine machines were also seized from an upstairs room of the house which was the base for the bitcoin mining activities.

Energy Commission, area director for Penang, Kedah, and Perlis, Muhamad Azmi Ishak, stated that the raid was conducted following a two-month investigation and marks the first case in the northern region involving the illegal tapping of electricity for bitcoin mining.

“Previously, bitcoin operations were typically carried out on-premises, but now the syndicate has changed its modus operandi to residential areas to deceive the authorities.

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“We don’t hear the noise of machines because the room is soundproofed,” he told reporters after the operation here today.

Muhamad Azmi cautioned that the syndicate’s actions of making illegal connections posed a danger to residents living nearby as the high electricity usage could lead to short circuits and fire hazards because the machines operated 24 hours without interruption.

In light of this, he urged the public, especially in residential areas, to report any suspicious activities to enable investigations and prevent such incidents.

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According to Muhamad Azmi, both syndicates are believed to have been operating for the past six months, incurring TNB an estimated monthly loss of RM22,000.

The cases are being investigated under Section 37 of the Electricity Supply Act 1990 (Act 447), which pertains to the interference, tampering, or damage to electrical installations. — Bernama