Police Arrest Crypto Miner for Allegedly Using Stolen Electricity

A man has reportedly been arrested in Taiwan over allegations that he mined cryptocurrencies worth millions of dollars using stolen power.

On Wednesday, EBC Dongsen News reported about a man with the surname Yang who allegedly stole power valued at more than NT$100 million ($3.25 million) through his several business premises to mine Ether and Bitcoin, gaining roughly the similar amount in mining profits.

According to the report, Yang used the electricity at 17 Taiwanese shops for his illegal cryptocurrency mining operations. The man would purportedly rent a toy store or internet cafe, then get electricians who would redesign the wiring so the stolen power supply would not be metered.

The operations were first discovered by the state-owned utility provider, Taiwan Power Company, upon noticing an unstable power supply and conducting an investigation. The police suspected and arrested Yang.

“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,” the deputy head of the 4th brigade of the Taiwanese Criminal Investigation Bureau, Wang Zhicheng, stated.

Many other cases of mining using stolen electricity have emerged lately, as convenient gains have been tempting for some. Two Chinese school principals got in hot water last month after utilizing the institution’s electricity to mine Ether.

In June, the Chinese police arrested a man for allegedly stealing electricity to mine Ether and Bitcoin, after the local power grid firm reported a spike in power usage. In April, six individuals were also arrested over claims that they utilized 600 crypto miners to generate Bitcoin using electricity from the local power grid.