Malaysian police hunting a bitcoin miner who allegedly caused over $2 million loss to a utility company

In Malaysia's Melaka state, police are hunting a bitcoin miner, who allegedly caused about 9 million ringgit (around $2.2 million) loss to utility company Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

The miner, Tan Joe Pheng, was actively running bitcoin mining activities at 18 premises in the state, Melaka police chief Datuk Abdul Majid Mohd Ali told a press conference on Friday, as reported by Malay Mail.

The 26-year-old miner was reportedly the syndicate's mastermind and allegedly caused that loss to Tenaga Nasional since February 2019. He apparently stole electricity from the utility company.

"I urge the public who have information about the suspect to inform the police," said Mohd Ali. "The suspect is also urged to surrender to the nearest police station."

The police have detained six individuals in the case, including a man and a woman who are believed to be siblings of the main suspect and worked as accountant and manager of the bitcoin mining activities.

The police also raided six of the 18 premises and seized 317 bitcoin mining machines and other equipment.

If proven guilty, the bitcoin miner could face up to 10 years imprisonment or a maximum fine of 1 million ringgit (about $250,000).