Police got more than they bargained for when they raided a property expecting to find a cannabis farm and instead uncovered a huge Bitcoin mine.
They had been drawn to the address in Great Bridge Industrial Estate in Sandwell on 18 May due to the volume of power being used, which raised suspicions that it could be a drug farm.
However, when officers broke into the property, they discovered 100 high-powered computers hooked up to one another.
According to reports, they had been using thousands of pounds worth of electricity to 'mine' for Bitcoin on an industrial scale.
Most cryptocurrencies need to be "mined" in order to be created, which is a complex process done through computers.
The computers and various IT equipment, which had bypassed supplier Western Power, were seized by police.
Speaking about the find, Sergeant Jennifer Griffin said it was truly shocking.
She said: "It's certainly not what we were expecting.
"It had all the hallmarks of a cannabis cultivation set-up and I believe it's only the
second such crypto mine we've encountered in the West Midlands.
"My understanding is that mining for cryptocurrency is not itself illegal but clearly abstracting electricity from the mains supply to power it is.
"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.
"We heard how lots of people were visiting the unit at different times of day, lots of wiring and ventilation ducts were visible, and a police drone picked up a considerable heat source from above."
Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) stormed the property on Trinity Street in Coventry on Thursday (15 October) and found around 1,000 plants over three floors.
Cops found £150,000 ($194,000) worth of 'sophisticated' growing, planting and irrigation equipment.
With the help of drones, officers also managed to apprehend two men who were seen attempting to escape.
Three men were eventually arrested and charged with producing a class B drug.
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