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UK police surprised to learn energy-intensive weed farm is actually a Bitcoin mine

Police claim the mining operation was stealing ‘thousands of pounds’ worth of electricity

Police in the United Kingdom raided an industrial unit outside Birmingham under suspicion it was housing an indoor marijuana growing operation, CNBC reported. They were surprised to discover instead an extensive Bitcoin mining setup which was illegally siphoning electricity from a mains supply.

Prior to the raid, police observed multiple people going in and out of the building throughout the day, and spotted extensive ventilation and wiring. They also claim a drone was able to detect high amounts of heat coming off the building. Because indoor cannabis farms use systems of grow lights, heating, and ventilation to cultivate plants where they might not usually flourish, police believed they were looking at “classic signs” of a clandestine weed operation.

What they were actually looking at, as they soon learned, was about approximately a hundred or so Antminer S9 machines, generating enormous amounts of heat while they minted new coins. Easy mistake to make, and incidentally, not illegal in cases where cryptocurrency miners pay their electrical bills. This particular operation, however, was siphoning “thousands of pounds” worth of mains electricity, and as a result was shut down by the same police who thought they were gearing up for a drug raid.

The mining equipment, which we can estimate as being worth upward of $5,000, was seized, though no arrests have been made.

Police may not have caught a drug ring, but they likely did more good by shutting down this illicit mining setup — for the environment anyway. In 2016, weed was found to account for 1 percent of the electricity consumption in the US, an equivalent of 15 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, at the time. For comparison, Bitcoin was estimated to be responsible for almost 0.25 percent of the entire world’s electricity consumption in 2019.

BIRMINGHAM WEED POLICE BUSY

The same police recently got lucky a week earlier when they discovered a £6 .5million cannabis farm – described as one of the biggest ever found by a team of Midland police officer – has been smashed.

The Police found more than 6,000 plants crammed into a Walsall property during a raid.

West Midlands Police said the illicit grow was worth more than £6 .5million on the black market and was found during a pre-planned warrant at a building in Slaney Road just after 9 .30am on Friday, May 21 .

No arrests have been made but urgent enquries to find those involved continue.

Pictures showed a huge array of wires coming from a number of meters, which had been bypassed, in order to power the illegal factory.

A spokesman for the force told BlackCountryLive: “We were called to reports of a suspected cannabis factory at a property on Slaney Road, Walsall just after 9 .30am last Friday (May 21).

“The property was searched and a cannabis farm was found inside consisting of 6000 plants. The site was emptied and made secure by officers.

“Our specialist Cannabis Disposal Team have been clearing the scene and working with Western Power to make the site safe as the electricity had been bypassed.”

A member of the cannabis disposal team took to Twitter to highlight the huge haul.

 They said: “We seized £6 .5 million worth from over 40 rooms of a very large building. #FundsDenied #CriminalFundsSeized #BiggestSoFar .” 

The bust came after a £700,000 cannabis farm was found at Diamond Banqueting Suite in Skinner Street in Wolverhampton city centre.

Another £1m farm was also found in Neachells Lane, Wednesfield, last month.

Cops say criminals are using more inventive ways to conceal cannabis grows – not just in rooms, but in the back of shops and even underground.

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 Cannabis farms are very dangerous and pose a serious risk of fire . Often the electricity meter has been bypassed and seriously overloaded electrical circuits run close to water-filled pipes. 

Plants – which contain CBD and THC – grown upstairs in a building can also cause floorboards to rot, presenting the danger of collapse.

VERGE

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Written by The Editor

warrior dedicated to the cause of fighting the takeover of our culture.

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