Police officers in the United Kingdom discovered an elaborate Bitcoin mining operation after suspecting that it was a cannabis farm.
In a statement, police from Sandwell, West Midlands say it suspected that a building in the Great Bridge Industrial Estate could be growing cannabis because of the number of people visiting the place at different times of the day. The industrial unit also had visible wiring and ventilation ducts and a considerable heat source – things they say are telltale signs of a marijuana farming operation.
When police officers entered the building with a drug warrant on May 18th, they found around 100 computer units being used to mine the leading crypto asset.
An inquiry with electricity distribution network Western Power reveals that the mining operation was using thousands of dollars worth of stolen electricity.
No arrest was made, but the police officers seized the equipment. Says Sandwell Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin,
“My understanding is that mining for cryptocurrency is not itself illegal but clearly abstracting electricity from the mains supply to power it 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.”
Featured Image: Shutterstock/Iaremenko Sergii