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Power cut as ‘strangers’ visiting building found to mine ‘Bitcoin’

KUWAIT CITY, April 18: The Ministry of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy has launched a campaign, which is the first of its kind in the history of the ministry, to track rental properties where “Bitcoin” is being mined locally and illegally, reports Al-Anba daily. The ministry started its campaign after reports were made to the inspectorate team via social media about the presence of a device that is being used in a building for exploiting electricity in violation of the law, according to eyewitnesses.

In a press statement, the Deputy Head of the inspectorate team at the Ministry of Electricity and Water Ahmed Al-Shammari, who went to the aforementioned building accompanied by the team officer Ali Al- Zainal, explained that there were violations related to electricity installations, which required placing a warning poster on the first visit, as no one was available in that building. Due to the way the electricity box was closed which raised suspicion, the inspectors went on to open it and found tampered wiring, which is a violation of the applicable laws.

Al-Shammari said the violators were not cooperative, and the team was forced to open the box only to find explicit violations and extensions that violate one of the wings of this building. He went on to explain that the residents of the area said the building is fully rented and frequented by people who are strangers to the area. They bring large devices to draw electrical current to feed devices which are used to illegally mine Bitcoin in Kuwait. The meter reading showed unusual consumption of electricity exceeding the average meter reading, which confirmed that there is unjustified electricity consumption in the property.

Usually such kind of consumption is an indication of sinister practices in regard to the consumption of electricity. The team disconnected electricity in that building and a citation was issued. It is the first time the team is cutting off electricity to a property where digital currencies are mined. Al-Shammari warned that no violator will be excluded, and laws will be applied to everyone. He called on the landlords to ensure that their tenants are not using their properties in a manner that violates the laws, and that they should call the concerned authorities as soon as they realize unlawful operations are being carried out on their properties.

Al-Shammari affirmed that the ministry will track the rented houses that are used for these purposes and that consume electricity excessively, indicating that the violators use government homes in private residential areas due to the low value of the electrical tariff, which amounts to 2 fils per kilowatt, and therefore their profits are high because the cost of the electricity tariff is low.

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