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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Half a billion baht worth of electricity stolen in Thailand


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More than 2,000 computers used to mine cryptocurrencies with stolen electricity were discovered and seized in Bangkok

The Department of Special Investigations (DSI) conducted a special operation called “Electric Shock,” which searched 41 premises in Bangkok and Nonthaburi. Department officials found that about 500 million baht worth of electricity was stolen over the past year by cryptocurrency miners, the Khaosod newspaper reported.

Department of Special Investigations head Trayarit Temahiwong led department officials and representatives from relevant government agencies in raiding 41 locations in Bangkok and Nonthaburi where electricity was suspected to have been stolen.

As part of the raid, more than 2,000 mining computers worth more than 400 million baht were discovered and seized. Power cables hidden in the ceilings, connected directly to the main power grid without electricity meters, were found in the premises.

Officials suspected that the locations were illegally using government electricity. Cryptocurrency mining consumes huge amounts of electricity and is comparable to large factories. These mining farms were connected directly to a power source without going through electric meters.

The investigation also revealed that an entire group of individuals are connected to the crypto-farms, who are searching for, renting out buildings to turn into cryptocurrency mining farms. Buildings are rented out and an average of 100 mining machines are installed in them. Each farm consumes about 500,000 baht worth of electricity per month, but the electricity bill is only 300 baht per month.

The government lost about 20 million baht each month from 41 cryptocurrency mining farms. Trayarit estimates that about 3,000 computers may be used for mining, with the value of the stolen electricity amounting to about 500 million baht.

“The investigation will continue as there is information about the alleged location of other cryptocurrency mining farms stealing public electricity in Bangkok,” Trayarit said, adding that officials will be filing lawsuits over the electricity theft.

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