Police in Germany recently raided a large mining operation that is accused of illegally bypassing electrical meters to siphon free power from the electrical grid.
Investigators say that the group was taking power from the grid for over two years, and would have accumulated a bill of roughly €220,000 (nearly $250,000) if the meters were on.
According to Freie Presse:
The compute farm had since the beginning of 2017 in operation, possibly continuously. the loss over two years, totaled 220,000 euros...The damage to the utility is enormous. According to prosecutors, the plant had as much electricity as 30 households consumed.
The operation reportedly had eight different locations, all of which were targeted in the recent raids. Police found a large stockpile of computers and mining equiptment, including devices that are used for bypassing elecrtric meters. Freie Presse said:
The specialists discovered a computer installation in operation of 49 computers on industrial shelves, which referred illegal electricity by bypassing the meter. You should have been housed in the premises of the former PGH Elektro...Among the 49 found in Klingenthal computers were 30 equipped with special hardware for the prospecting of crypto currencies. 80 graphics cards were installed in the plant.
Similar electricity thefts have been reported in the past. As CryptoGlobe reported in December, a Taiwanese citizen with the surname Yang was arrested after he was allegedly caught stealing $3 million worth of electricity to mine crypto.
In another case, last November, a teacher in China was fired from his job after he was allegedly caught using electricity from the school to mine cryptocurrency. The teacher, named Lei Hua, had reportedly been mining ether for almost a year before the school’s management found out about the operation.
Last April, Russian authorities shut down a massive illegal mining operation, confiscating 6,000 units of mining hardware equipment and arresting two workers.