The West Midlands Police has stumbled on the unexpected. While trying to uncover a cannabis farm, which is illegal to possess, grow, and sell in the United Kingdom, officers have found a Bitcoin mining operation.
According to a Thursday news story from the police department, the operation would have been legal if the owners were not stealing “thousands of pounds” worth of electricity from the main grid to power it. Sandwell Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin exclaimed:
It’s certainly not what we were expecting! I believe it’s only the second such crypto mine we’ve encountered in the West Midlands.
The report noted that the farm showed all the signs of a classic cannabis factory – visible wiring and ducts, substantial heat production, and different people popping in throughout the day. Officers obtained a drug warrant but were shocked with what they found instead.
Officials did not state how long the illegal mining operation has been ongoing. However, a single S9 miner can produce approximately $1.55 daily, excluding the cost of electricity. Therefore, the 100 miners could have been generating $155 daily or $4,800 monthly.
As for the mining rigs, the police will be keeping it.
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 enquiries with the unit’s owner.