'Miners' stealing electricity

'Miners' stealing electricity

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) raided 50 locations in Bangkok and Nonthaburi and found crypto miners had stolen electricity worth around 500 million baht over the past year.

DSI chief Traiyarit Temahiwong led officials from the Central Institute of Forensic Science, the Customs Department, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA), and the Provincial Electricity Authority to raid 39 locations in Nonthaburi and two in Bangkok where electricity was thought to have been stolen.

They inspected three row buildings on Samakee Road, tambon Ta Sai of Nonthaburi, and found a number of computers used for cryptocurrency mining.

Moreover, MEA officials found power cables hidden on the ceilings that were wired directly to the main electrical circuit without MEA-registered transformers, said Dr Traiyarit.

Dr Traiyarit said they found another 10 locations suspected of electricity theft.

Each building has more than 30 computers used for cryptocurrency mining, which should have cost at least 10,000 baht per month in electricity bills. However, they only paid 300 baht a month.

Mr Traiyarit estimated there could be 3,000 computers used for mining. The cost of the stolen electricity would then amount to 500 million baht, he said.

"Our initial investigation found that the owner of these buildings is a Thai citizen. We will proceed to prosecute that person even if we find the network is linked to foreign investors or Thai government officials," added Mr Traiyarit.

He said officials will lodge complaints over the stolen electricity.


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