Malaysian authorities have handled more than a thousand mining rigs

Malaysia has literally taken the nation’s cryptocurrency crackdown. Authorities confiscated 1,069 yen Bitcoin mining rigs, gather them in a parking lot outside the police headquarters and then crush them with a steam engine.

The demolition of the rigs is part of the joint activities between local electricity company Sarawak Energy and law enforcement agencies. The mining rigs are being used by a group that allegedly stole over $2 million worth of electricity from Sarawak Energy.

Video of the event was recorded by Sarawak’s local newspaper Dayak Daily. The video has gone viral on social media.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Hakemal Hawari said the group was operating rigs using electricity illegally drawn from the power company’s power lines. He said authorities were able to track down the group after they received an anonymous tip.

The mining rigs were confiscated after six consecutive raids conducted over the past few months. Authorities said the seized device was worth an estimated $1.26 million. Mining rigs typically include powerful graphics processing units, power supplies, and standard personal computer components.

Hawari said the court ordered the destruction of the mining rigs. Other countries that have confiscated mining rigs – including China – have chosen to auction the seized equipment.

Mining rigs, which process cryptocurrency transactions and create new digital coins, consume a lot of electricity. The process involves solving complex mathematical problems and updating a global ledger that tracks every transaction for a particular cryptocurrency.

Authorities say the amount of electricity the rigs consume could jeopardize the local power grid. Hawari said the miners’ group’s illegal mining of power lines caused at least three fires.

Cryptocurrency mining is not illegal in Malaysia. However, the government has very strict electricity usage laws. Under the nation’s Electricity Supply Act, those caught illegally tampering with power lines can face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $23,700.

Hawari said it has arrested eight people in connection with the mining operation. Six people have been charged with stealing energy supplies and now face eight months in prison and a $1,900 fine each.

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