Locals Lay Cables via Kennels to Steal Electricity from Oil Well for BTC Mining
Police in Daqing, a city in northeastern China known as the “Oil Capital” of the country, have seized 54 bitcoin mining machines that were found stealing electricity from oil well to fuel bitcoin mining.
According to local reports, police in the Daqing Oil Field Public Security Bureau got clues in a daily patrol and found that someone had secretly laid electricity cables through a kennel to steal the power from the oil well nearby.
Further investigation discovered a small mining farm under the kennel where 54 mining machines had kept running in the hideout since this February.
Overall, the damage caused to the oil field amounts to over 50,000 yuan ($7,072) but it’s not known how much Bitcoin the man was able to mine.
The investigation is still ongoing so details remain unknown as to the suspected persons involved and how much the alleged thief has to pay for the stolen electricity.
While the man‘s creative methods are to be “applauded”, it’s not the first time someone steals electricity to power bitcoin mining machines.
In October 2018, a Chinese man was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for stealing $15,000 worth of electricity from a local railway network to power his bitcoin mining operations.
In December 2018, a man in Taiwan was caught stealing over NT$100 million ($3.25 million) worth of electricity to fuel his crypto mining operations under the guise of toyshops and internet cafes.
According to previous reports, police in the country have launched a nationwide criminal investigation into electricity theft and found that using stolen electricity to power bitcoin mining rigs have been rampant over these years.
Among those efforts, police in Tangshan, Hebei province, had seized 52 high-power transformers and 6,890 bitcoin mining machines in a local investigation started from April 2018, which has led to multi-million dollars worth energy losses.