Taiwanese Man Arrested For Allegedly Stealing Electricity to Mine Crypto

A man in Taiwan has recently been arrested for allegedly stealing electricity that costs a whopping amount of more than $3 million for the purpose of crypto mining. This astonishing piece of news has been reported by a Taiwanese news channel called EBC Dongsen on 26th of December, 2018.

The arrested man is said to have been trying to line Bitcoin and Ethereum, which, with their Proof of Work consensus mechanisms, require quite a bit of electricity usage.

Although the suspect’s full name has not been reported, he has been referred to as Mr. Yang. He had allegedly managed to mine a large amount of cryptocurrencies with the stolen electricity. It appears that he had amassed cryptocurrencies worth roughly $14.5 million or 100 million yuan. According to reports, it seems Yuan had been running a massive operation of crypto mining under the guise of running at least 17 business locations in the form of cyber cafés and top shops. These locations served as fronts for his crypto mining operations, which, going by his huge earnings, had clearly reached large proportions.

Yang had apparently paid electricians to conduct a thorough rewiring of these locations to make sure the government would not be able to catch him steal electricity in such huge volumes. The rewiring permitted him to avoid electricity metering altogether. Taiwan Power Company, which is the state controlled provider of electricity had requested a police investigation after power irregularities caused by Yang’s theft came to their notice. A subsequent police investigation led the authorities to not just arrest Yang but also one of his alleged accomplices.

The deputy head of the fourth brigade of the country’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, Wang Zhicheng reportedly issued the following statement:

“The [suspects] recruited electricians who managed to break into the sealed meters in order to add in private lines to use electricity for free before that usage reaches the meters.”