More than a thousand cryptocurrency mining rigs were flattened in Sarawak, Malaysia, by a street compactor machine. According to Malaysian publication The Star, the mining rigs were seized earlier this year in six raids because operators were accused of stealing electricity.
A total of 1,069 mining rigs worth $1.26 million were confiscated between February and April after a joint operation carried out by local law enforcement and Sarawak Energy Berhad in Miri. Authorities allege these miners illegally stole electricity off the grid.
"A total of six people have been successfully charged under Section 379 of the Penal Code for electricity theft and have been fined up to RM8,000 and jailed for up to eight months," Miri police chief ACP Hakemal Hawari said in a statement.
It was noted the operators stole approximately $2 million in electricity during their operations to mine Bitcoin and Ethereum.
"The electricity theft for mining bitcoin activities has caused frequent power outages and in 2021, three houses were razed due to illegal electricity supply connections," Hawari added.
Bitcoin's price surge earlier this year to all-time highs brought forward the decentralized networks' massive power usage. There's been a crackdown on mining operations worldwide as energy theft is regularly reported in places where miners operate.
The video below shows the compactor machine smashing mining rigs.
The Star didn't mention why police thought it was necessary to destroy the rigs in such a powerful video message.
We've recently noted mining rig prices have finally dropped in price following prices surges in graphic card prices due to semiconductor shortages. The latest decline comes as China has unleashed a crackdown on miners to force its population to use a digital yuan instead of crypto.
Besides stealing power, there's also been the issue of ESG-friendly mining - where the "greening" of crypto has become a topic because of the decentralized networks' significant power usage.