Crypto Miner Arrested In Taiwain For Stealing Electricity

Crime, News | December 28, 2018 By:

Taiwanese authorities have arrested a man suspected of stealing electricity worth over $3 million to mine cryptocurrencies.

Local media oulet EBC Dongsen News reported that a man with the surname Yang has been accused of stealing NT$100 million ($3.25M USD) to mine bitcoin and ethereum. To fuel his mining operations, Yang allegedly stole power from 17 different shops in Northern Taiwan. According to authorities, the suspect would first rent an Internet cafe or a doll shop and then set up an illicit mining operation upstairs. Yang hired electricians to rewire the premises in such a way as to evade electricity metering and detection of the stolen power.

“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,” said Wang Zhicheng, the deputy head of the fourth brigade of Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau.

The Taiwan Power Company, a state-owned utility provider, reportedly launched an investigation after noticing abnormal electrical surge in certain areas. Yang was suspected and subsequently arrested by the police.

Other incidents involving the theft of electricity for crypto mining have been reported previously. In September, Chinese cryptocurrency miner Xu Xinghua was fined 100,000 Chinese Yuan ($14,500 USD) for stealing electricity from a factory at Kouquan Railway to power 50 crypto miners that generated approximately 3.2 bitcoin.

In April, Chinese police initiated criminal investigations against six persons ‎for operating illegal cryptocurrency mining and stealing electricity.