Police in China have reportedly gathered evidence of people laying cables via fish ponds to steal oil well power to fuel their bitcoin (BTC) mining. The news was reported by daily Chinese tabloid The Global Times on June 13.

The Global Times is published under the auspices of state-backed newspaper group The People’s Daily.

The report outlines that the Green Grassland Police Station of the Qiqihar District Public Security Bureau were alerted to the alleged power theft after receiving a call from the head of oil production at Daqing Oil Field — the largest oil field in China, located in Heilongjiang province.

In order to investigate the allegation, police reportedly conducted an airborne investigation using drones across a two kilometer area, and ostensibly gathered sufficient evidence to construct a criminal case.

The Global Times does not provide details as to the suspected persons involved, nor into the scale of the alleged electricity theft.

In October 2018, a Chinese citizen was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for stealing power from a train station to fuel his bitcoin mining operations.

In Taiwan, in December of last year, a citizen was arrested after being accused of electricity theft to mine bitcoin and ether (ETH) worth over 100 million yuan ($14.5 million).

This February, a group of suspects were arrested in the German city of Klingenthal, Saxony, after being accused of stealing over $3 million worth of electricity to operate a cryptocurrency mining farm.