TNB And PDRM Enhance Efforts To Thwart Illegal Bitcoin Mining

Tenaga Nasional Berhad and the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) have further strengthened their cooperation to thwart electricity theft especially involving ‘Bitcoin’ cryptocurrency mining activities, which has caused huge losses to the energy industry and the country.

Chief Executive Officer Datuk Ir. Baharin Din and the Inspector -General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani met for a strategic collaboration where the utility giant delivered nine four-wheel drives to the police force to increase efficiency in combating such activities.

Commenting on the strategic collaboration, Baharin said it had given a huge and positive impact on TNB’s efforts to curb the theft of electricity involving industrial and commercial users.

“Bitcoin mining activities that fraudulently take electricity supply not only impact the power producer but also indirectly to the people and the country. Apart from causing damage and fire to power installations, this Bitcoin mining activity affects consumers when the electricity supply is cut off, ”he added. The act of stealing electricity by bitcoin operators was found to be increasing as the detected case has risen 400 per cent in four years involving 610 cases in 2018, followed by 1,043 cases (2019), 2,465 cases (2020) and 3,091 cases in 2021.

Records show a total of 7,209 cases detected over four years have resulted in a loss of over 4.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh).

The increase in cases since 2018 also proves the efficiency of all agencies involved in detecting such criminal acts, especially the strategic cooperation between TNB and PDRM starting in 2020. The joint operation to combat acts violating the Electricity Supply Act 1990 also involves the Energy Commission (ST) and Local Authorities. (PBT).

During the two years of the strategic cooperation, Acryl Sani stated that PDRM had successfully arrested 627 individuals and seized case items worth RM69.8 million in raids conducted in conjunction with TNB.

Interference with meter installations or illegal connections by bitcoin operators can trigger various incidents including supply disruptions due to overloading, leading to fires.

Excessive use of 24 -hour unsupervised high -powered computer networks in these bitcoin mining operations, can cause short circuits in addition to the use of non -standard fuses or not using any fuses and loads exceeding cable capacity.

Illegal connections, on the other hand, result in the readings on the meters no longer showing the actual electricity consumption, thus disrupting the stability of electricity supply as demand exceeds capacity, thus affecting business activities and the comfort of the people.

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