Law enforcement officers in the United Kingdom have discovered a professional Bitcoin mining operation after suspecting a cannabis farm.
In a statement, police from Sandwell, West Midlands said there were suspicions of a building in the Great Bridge Industrial Estate operating as a cannabis farm. Telltale signs of marijuana farming operations were all present. The place had numerous people visiting the place at different times of the day. There were also visible wiring and ventilation ducts with a considerable heat source.
When local police officers entered the premises with a drug warrant on May 18th it was not what they were expecting. Instead of plants, over a 100 computer units were found, all used to mine Bitcoin.
An inquiry with electricity distribution network Western Power further showed that the mining operation was making use of illegally tapped electricity, worth thousands of dollars.
The police made no arrest, considering cryptocurrency mining itself is not illegal. The equipment however was seized. Sandwell Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin stated:
“My understanding is that mining for cryptocurrency is not itself illegal but clearly abstracting electricity from the mains supply to power is. We’ve seized the equipment and will be looking into permanently seizing it under the Proceeds of Crime Act. No one was at the unit at the time of the warrant and no arrests have been made – but we’ll be making inquiries with the unit’s owner.”
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