Bolice said he executed a drug arrest warrant at an industrial estate in Sandwell, West Midlands, on May 18 after receiving reports that the site was being used as a cannabis farm.
But the West Midlands force said it had instead found a huge bank of around 100 IT units in what is supposed to be a Bitcoin cryptocurrency mining operation.
Computer equipment was seized from the Great Bridge industrial estate building and investigations with Western Power revealed that the power supply had been bypassed.
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A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that contains transactional records stored and secured by cryptographic processes, which means that it is virtually impossible to counterfeit.
Bitcoin mining is the process by which new bitcoins are created and put into circulation, carried out by computers solving complex puzzles, which requires huge amounts of energy.
Police said they had received reports of people visiting the unit at different times of the day – adding that many cables and ventilation ducts were visible.
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A police drone also picked up a considerable heat source above which the force called “signs of classic cannabis plant.”
Sandwell Police Sgt. Jennifer Griffin said: “It’s definitely not what we expected.
“It had all the hallmarks of a cannabis grow op and I think it’s just the second such crypto mine we’ve come across in the West Midlands.
“My understanding is that cryptocurrency mining is not in and of itself illegal, but is clearly extracting electricity from the sector to power it.
“We have seized the equipment and will consider seizing it permanently under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“No one was in the unit at the time of the warrant and no arrests have been made – but we will check with the owner of the unit.
The warrant was one of nearly 50 executed as part of the County Line Intensification Week, which led to 84 arrests, major drug seizures and the recovery of weapons, including a rifle sawed-off and a blank pistol converted to fire live ammunition, the force said. .