February 23, 2022
By Priyanka Shetty
Malaysia’s illegal crypto mining has reached an all-time high, increasing dramatically since last year.
Here’s what you need to know:
- According to Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan, crypto crimes have dramatically increased in Malaysia since last year, especially illegal bitcoin mining. In 2020, 20 papers were opened, 26 people arrested and RM1.26 million worth of equipment seized in Malaysia. But in 2021, 570 investigation papers were opened, 528 people were arrested and RM54 million worth of mining equipment seized. That’s more than a 4200 per cent increase from 2020 to 2021.
- A local news source reported that most of these crimes were committed in industrial areas like Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Penang which can provide enough electricity for illegal mining. Usually these places are hidden. So, the public cannot hear the noise or feel the heat from mining rigs.
- Malaysian authorities, who seized 1,069 bitcoin mining rigs, laid them out in a parking lot at police headquarters, and used a steamroller to crush them and the video of the same went viral. This was a joint operation between law enforcement in the city of Miri and electric utility Sarawak Energy. Assistant Commissioner of Police Hakemal Hawari told CNBC the crackdown came after miners allegedly stole $2 million worth of electricity siphoned from Sarawak Energy power lines and there are no other active mining operations underway currently.
- The police have destroyed about $1.26 million of mining equipment after the court order. While countries like China and others would have taken different routes, Malaysian authorities took crypto crackdown quite literally. Malaysian authorities are fighting against these illegal mining by using drones to detect heat in the air in suspicious locations.
- While the EU is contemplating to ban proof-of-mining work altogether, Malaysia isn’t holding the same stance towards mining. Malaysia currently isn’t only facing a major illegal mining problem but also electricity theft. Malaysia had a total of 7,209 electricity theft cases being reported from 2018 to 2021.
About the author
Based in Bengaluru, Priyanka Shetty is freelance writer for Blockchain Asset Review.