Illegal Bitcoin Mining Investigators Receive Tip

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  • Owners of an illegal British Bitcoin mining operation may have been identified
  • The illegal Bitcoin mine stole some £16,000 ($22,500) in electricity
  • Three “nerdy” looking men were spotted entering the premises over a period of months

British police are still hunting rogue Bitcoin miners who stole some £16,000 ($22,500) in electricity through an illegal Bitcoin mining operation. The Bitcoin mine was discovered in May after police received a tip off that the abandoned warehouse might have been a cannabis farm, but when police forced their way inside they were met with banks of ASIC miners illegally hooked up to an electricity supply. The resultant three-week search may have been narrowed after the owner of a nearby unit informed police that he had seen three men using the warehouse in recent months.

Illegal Bitcoin Mining Operation Mistaken for Cannabis Farm

The illegal Bitcoin mining operation was situated in an industrial estate near Birmingham in central England and was rumbled when locals reported what they thought was a cannabis farm following numerous visits from various people at all times of the day and visible wiring and ventilation ducts. A police drone then picked up a heat source from above the warehouse, telltale signs of a cannabis farm.

When police gained access on May 18 however they were met not by racks of plants but by racks of Bitcoin mining equipment. The main electricity supply had been bypassed via connection to a separate supply through a hole drilled into the ground, meaning that the operators were able to obtain electricity for free. Enquiries to the local power company suggested that £16,000 worth of electricity had been obtained this way.

Police Seeking Three “Nerdy” Looking Men

Police haven’t made any progress in the case public, although the owner of a nearby unit told a newspaper that he had seen three men who “looked a bit nerdy” going in and out of the warehouse for around eight months. Should the miscreants be arrested they will face charges relating to the theft of the electricity and will have to pay back any earnings made from the illegal Bitcoin mining enterprise.