Malaysian Authorities Arrest Nine Suspects For Stealing Bitcoin Mining Machines

Crime, News | February 27, 2018 By:

Nine men have been arrested in Malaysia in connection with the theft of bitcoin mining machines worth approximately RM1 million ($255,000 USD).

According to the authorities, they received a total of five reports from January 17 until February 16 in the Serdang district concerning the computer equipment thefts. In total, the victims reported that 153 mining machines and power supply units (PSU) were stolen.

One bitcoin miner reported that he lost RM600,000 ($153,000 USD) worth of cryptocurrency mining equipment when burglars broke into his shop on January 25. The victim said that over 40 units of the Antminer S9 bitcoin mining machines and PSUs were stolen.

Following the reports, Serdang police chief assistant commissioner Megat Mohammad said a police taskforce was established to address the thefts led by Serdang’s Criminal Investigations Department. He said they conducted simultaneous raids throughout Selangor, Klang Valley and Kuching, Sarawak after receiving tips that the suspects attempted to sell the equipment via a website and Facebook.

Mohammad said nine suspects were arrested on Feb. 23 and they managed to recover 58 bitcoin machines worth at least RM500,000 ($127,000 USD). He added that the suspects were believed to be involved in various similar cases, including robbing a bitcoin miner in Serdang on Feb 16.

“We received four other similar reports in three areas in Serdang,” Mohammad said. “We managed to solve two cases with the arrests of the suspects.”

Serdang police is also tracking down one more suspect believed to be the main accomplice and have several leads including positive fingerprint samples obtained from the crime scene.

“We urged those who bought such equipments online to get in touch with the police because investigation is ongoing,” Mohammad said.

Similar incidents occurred in Iceland. According to reports, between December 2017 and January 2018, a total of three robberies have been recorded in the municipality of Reykjanesbær, resulting to the loss of around 600 graphics cards, 100 motherboards, 100 CPU processors, 100 power supplies, and 100 memory discs.