As the crypto miners prepare for the upcoming Bitcoin halving, industry leaders have been exploring ways to increase the hash rates. The desire to tap into the benefits of the 2024 Bitcoin halving has resulted in the rise of crypto crimes.
In a December 29 report, the Indonesian law enforcers shut down the operation of 10 Bitcoin miners for engaging in electricity theft to mine crypto assets.
Indonesian Regulators Raids Bitcoin Mining Sites
The incident was reported on Christmas Eve, forcing the regulators to take potential action against the non-compliant miners. A statement from the Indonesia police unit demonstrated that the suspects connected their mining rigs directly to the national electricity grid.
Following the discovery of the non-compliance of the Bitcoin miners, the Police officials raided multiple mining sites across 10 locations in Indonesia.
In their operations, the police seized over 1134 mining machinery and other devices, including 11 meters and computers. During the December 29 raid, the police arrested 26 individuals linked to the electricity theft.
In an interview with Irjen Agung Setya Imam Effendi, the Chief of North Sumatra Police, the official regretted that the suspects interfered with the power supply in some parts of Indonesia.
The official lamented that the miners destroyed the national electricity circuits by connecting their mining rigs directly to the source.
Rise of Electricity Theft
In his statement, Mr Effendi complained that the miners tampered with the electricity meters to connect their mining infrastructures directly to the pole.
Even though Indonesia is striving to become an international hub for crypto, Mr.Effendi confirmed that the local firms are engaging in multiple violations of the law to benefit from crypto activities.
A review of the police report demonstrated that the electricity consumed illegally amounted to 14.4 billion Indonesian Rupiahs, equating to over $935,666. The police noted that the suspects engaged in electricity theft for the last six months.
Citing Indonesian law, the police stated that electricity theft was a criminal offense punishable under Article 362 of the Criminal Code. The police added that the suspect might receive a five-year jail term or settle a hefty court fine.
Bitcoin Miners Engage in Electricity Theft
The recent crackdown on Bitcoin miners mirrors the potential action undertaken by the Malaysian and Chinese governments against crypto miners who engaged in electricity theft.
Last month, the Chinese authority took legal action against Bitcoin miners tampering with the electricity supply to support their mining activities. After a lengthy court proceeding, a judge in China sentenced several Bitcoin miners to life imprisonment.
The court report demonstrated that Yi Xiao, the former top executive at Jiangxi Provincial Political Consultative Conference Party Group, was among the criminals sentenced to life.