With the advancement of technology and the increasing use and demand for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, some people have tried to take advantage of the trend by stealing electricity to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
In a recent statement, Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said that illegal bitcoin mining activities has recorded a 400% increase over the past four years, with an estimated loss of more than RM2.3 billion.
[𝐒𝐈𝐀𝐑𝐀𝐍 𝐌𝐄𝐃𝐈𝐀]𝐊𝐄𝐂𝐔𝐑𝐈𝐀𝐍 𝐄𝐋𝐄𝐊𝐓𝐑𝐈𝐊 𝐌𝐄𝐋𝐀𝐋𝐔𝐈 𝐊𝐄𝐆𝐈𝐀𝐓𝐀𝐍 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐋𝐎𝐌𝐁𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐀𝐍 𝐁𝐈𝐓𝐂𝐎𝐈𝐍“𝑴𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒌𝒂𝒏 𝑻𝒆𝒏𝒂𝒈𝒂 𝒅𝒂𝒏 𝑺𝒖𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝑨𝒔𝒍𝒊”#KeTSA#KeluargaMalaysia
He explained that a total of 7,209 cases were detected, namely 610 cases in 2018, 1,043 in 2019, 2,465 in 2020 and 3,091 in 2021.
“The increase in cases is a worrying trend, as it affects not only the energy industry in terms of value, but also the stability of the electricity supply system and public safety.”
He also said that the extreme use of high-powered cryptocurrency mining machines operating 24 hours non-stop could cause short circuits due to the use of non-standard fuses and loads exceeding cable capacity, risking causing fires.
“Illegal connection or tampering with meter installations resulted in the reading on the meter no longer showing the actual electricity consumption, thus disrupting the stability of electricity supply as demand exceeded capacity, and affecting business activities and people’s comfort,” he said.
Any individual found involved in power theft by tampering with the installations of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) could be fined not more than RM1,000,000 or face imprisonment not more than 10 years, or both, under the Electricity Supply Act 1990.
Individuals who committed such offences could also be prosecuted under Section 379 and Section 427 of the Penal Code for theft and mischief.
“Both the owner of the premises and the individual carrying out the activity can be prosecuted under the provisions of the existing law,” he said.
“The ministry welcomes the cooperation of various agencies, especially the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Energy Commission (ST), TNB and local authorities in combating these illegal activities,” said Takiyuddin.
He also urged members of the public who suspected or had information on power theft to contact ST, TNB or PDRM so that appropriate action could be taken.
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