50 crypto mines raided for stealing Thai electricity

Photo via DSI กรมสอบสวนคดีพิเศษ

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) raided about 50 crypto mines in Bangkok and Nonthaburi province yesterday for stealing electricity amounting to 325 million baht per year.

The cybercrime department of the DSI, under the codename Electrical Shock, investigated 40 buildings in Bangkok, and Nonthaburi that they suspected of illegally using electricity without an electric digital multimeter.

Officers raided one suspicious building yesterday and discovered an extra ten more buildings were linked to the premises stealing electricity for crypto mining. The DSI revealed the buildings were looked after by one member of staff who held keys to all 50 buildings involved in the illegal theft.

The cryptocurrency investor blocked the Thai electricity authorities from tracking their electricity usage. Each building paid only 300 to 2,000 baht per month, even though the real cost was over 500,000 baht. The Thai authorities lost over 25 million baht per month, an equivalent of nearly 325 million baht a year.

About 2,000 cryptocurrency mining machines, worth about 400 million baht, were seized. Each building had about 100 mining machines and most of the machines were imported from China. Ironically, crypto mining in China is banned.

The DSI reported that the mines were in operation 24 hours a day and the electricity usage was the same as that of an industrial factory. The crypto miners were not only stealing huge amounts of electricity but the amount they stole increased the risk of blazes. Using a large amount of electricity in buildings is also considered building misuse, as stated in the Thai Building Control Act.

A Thai person was identified as the owner and tenant of each building. The identity of the electricity thief has not yet been reported in the media.

Officers believe more people and investors are involved in the act and that more charges are expected to be issued pending further investigation.

Khaosod reported that the exact amount of loss has been concluded and that the people involved will be initially charged with Section 334 (10) of the Criminal Law: whoever commits theft on a thing used for public benefit shall be punished by imprisonment of one to five years and a fine from 2,000 to 10,000 baht.

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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