Syndicates of organised crime involved in illegally acquiring electrical supply to carry out cryptocurrency mining were uncovered and brought down by the Department of Electrical Services (DES), Autoriti Elektrik Negara Brunei Darussalam (AENBD), Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), Internal Security Department (ISD), Royal Customs and Excise Department (RCED) and Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) through the whole-of-government approach.
The syndicates’ activities are deemed as undermining and disrespecting Brunei Darussalam’s laws.
Through joint operations, several individuals were arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act, Chapter 133.
Meanwhile, the RBPF is investigating several others for their involvement in the activities.
The DES will continue to monitor and carry out inspections as the activities by these syndicates have also resulted in the public being exposed to the risk of fire, disruption of electricity supply, causing losses to the government and potentially causing damage to government infrastructure.
Acts with the intention of illegally obtaining electricity supply by diverting wiring from the meter, interfering and tampering with electrical meter and bypassing the electrical wiring of the meter is an offence under the Electricity Act, Chapter 71 which can be fined not more than BND50,000 or imprisoned for a period not exceeding three years or both.
Taking into account the security risks posed by the illegal activities, cryptocurrency mining in Brunei is prohibited.
The government urged the public and business owners not to subscribe or participate in services violating laws of Brunei Darussalam, including the Electricity Act.
The public and business owners who discover any party or individual offering such services or any premises suspected of subscribing to a service violating the Electricity Act are urged to report to the police hotline 993 or Darussalam Line 123. Information shared will be treated as confidential.
The public, especially owners and tenants of private houses and commercial buildings have the responsibility to ensure the premises they own or lease should comply with the rules and regulations imposed by the authorities.
The government will conduct inspections in residential and business premises to ensure that all electrical installations and wirings, including electricity meters, comply with the existing standards, operate well and are safe to use.
The Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam will continuously ensure that the Sultanate is free from threats which could jeopardise the nation’s peace, harmony and security.