4 Crypto Miners Arrested For Power Theft
A man in China was arrested by the Chinese authorities for allegedly stealing a significant amount of power in order to fuel a clandestine cryptocurrency mine.
The local power grid company in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui reported a spike in electricity use. The police then seized 200 computers used for Bitcoin and ether mining.
One suspect allegedly stole 150,000 kW hours of electricity between April and May 2018, when the power grid first informed the police of the theft. The Chinese national, identified only by his surname Ma, apparently told police that he dreamed of making money through crypto mining.
He bought the hardware in April but, later discovered that it was a costly affair since the daily power cost was over 6,000 yuan ($921). As a result, Ma said, his mining operation was not profitable at the time of his arrest.
Power theft allegations have led to the arrest of Bitcoin miners in China before. In April, there was a minimum of two cases where Bitcoin miners were taken into custody for allegedly stealing power.
In another such incident, six individuals were arrested in Tianjin. Police alleged that the suspects used 600 cryptocurrency miners to generate Bitcoin with power stolen from the local power grid. Xinhua News agency said that this may have been the “largest power theft case in recent years.”