In Kuching, fire reveals crypto mine stealing electricity at Mile 7


Handout photo shows the aftermath of the fire at the crypto mine.

KUCHING (Nov 4): A cryptocurrency mining centre located at a rented premises in Mile 7 here was discovered to be involved in electricity theft after the site caught fire.

In a press statement, Sarawak Energy said 57 units of charred cryptocurrency mining servers and a tampered electrical wiring system were found after the fire was extinguished.

During the subsequent investigation, Sarawak Energy’s technical team also discovered direct tapping cables hidden behind the premises’ concrete wall to avoid detection bypassing the electricity meter.

Records showed that the premises had been billed less than RM100 per month since 2018, extremely low for cryptocurrency mining.

As a result, Sarawak Energy incurred losses of approximately RM16,300 per month or RM586,400 for the past three years.

The statement said non-standard fuses and illegal wiring connections commonly used in electricity theft can lead to short circuits, damaged appliances, fires, and loss of life.

Such mining activities can also overload the electrical system capacity, causing local outages and inconvenience to those living nearby.

Based on preliminary investigations, it is believed that unsafe wiring and an overloaded electrical system caused the fire.

The cryptocurrency mining servers were also crowded into a small space, leading to heat build-up, which ignited combustible materials nearby and possibly caused the fire.

Also found were combustible materials, such as egg cartons and gypsum boards, which are commonly used as noise reduction materials, and this might have contributed to the fire.

Sarawak Energy reminded the public that stealing electricity is a dangerous criminal activity, which is on the rise amongst cryptocurrency mining operators.

This is because mining consumes a large amount of electricity as servers need to run non-stop and normally require cooling units to prevent overheating.

Members of the public can report suspicious activities related to electricity theft and service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity use by contacting Sarawak Energy’s Customer Care Centre on 1300-88-3111 or emailing [email protected].