In the UK, a raid on a suspected cannabis farm in Birmingham uncovered a Bitcoin mining operation illegally sapping electricity.
According to a press release, West Midlands police executed a drug warrant on May 18 as part of a wider crackdown on the local drug trade.
Officers found the Bitcoin miners after forcing entry into a unit on the Great Bridge Industrial Estate, Sandwell — a borough northwest of England’s second largest city.
- Police seized the tech even though it wasn’t what they expected (under the Proceeds of Crime Act).
- Later checks with distributor Western Power showed the Bitcoin miners had bypassed the power supplier.
- Authorities say more than 100 Bitcoin miners were using thousands of dollars worth of stolen electricity.
Bitcoin mining is the new cannabis farming
Before obtaining the warrant, West Midlands police said their intelligence meant the property ticked all the right boxes for a cannabis farm.
- People were spotted visiting the unit at different times of the day.
- The building featured lots of wiring and ventilation ducts.
- A police drone picked up a “considerable heat source” from the roof.
“It had all the hallmarks of a cannabis cultivation set-up and I believe it’s only the second such crypto mine we’ve encountered in the West Midlands,” said Sandwell Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin.
However, officers were more successful in other operations relating to the cannabis crackdown, making 84 arrests and confiscating weapons from a total of 50 warrants.
No arrests have been made in connection with the Bitcoin mining hub in question, but West Midlands police say they’ll be making inquiries with the owner.
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