Taiwanese Man Arrested for Stealing Over $3Mln of Electricity to Mine Bitcoin
A man in Taiwan has been arrested for the allegation of stealing electricity worth millions of dollars to mine Bitcoin and Ethereum, according to a local report by EBC Dongsen News.
The suspect, surnamed Yang, has been accused of stealing over NT$100 million ($3.25 million) worth electricity to mine cryptocurrencies, via this illicit conduct, he pocketed in around the same amount in mining profits.
It was reported that Yang had been using 17 business premises at least to open toyshops and internet cafés as a façade for his illegal crypto mining activities. Police said the suspect first rented a toyshop or an internet café on the first floor, then hired electricians to rewire the premise upstairs to mine bitcoin, in such a way to evade electricity metering.
The state-owned utility provider Taiwan Power Company, after noticing the unstable power supply in several places, started an investigation and discovered the illegal operations. In addition to Yang, a group of accomplices has also been arrested.
The report also revealed that Yang had once broken into the local Economic Development Bureau to threaten the chief there early in 2012, after the local government cut off the water supply and power supply for his premises.
The lucrative crypto mining has lured many to make quick money from the digital gold rush, even at the cost of breaking laws. Several such cases of electricity theft for crypto mining have surfaced.
Last month, two middle-school principals in China have been punished by using the school’s electricity to mine Ethereum; in October, a man in China’s northern Shanxi province was reportedly sentenced to three and a half years in prison for stealing electricity from a train station to power his bitcoin mining operations.