The Police Raid That Mistook Cryptocurrency For Cannabis
When South Australian police forced entry into a home apparently suspected of being used to grow marijuana, they found a (legal) bitcoin mining rig instead.
An Adelaide man shared video of extensive damage done to his property on Monday after police reportedly executed a search for "marijuana crops".
The Smithfield Plains resident -- whose YouTube video was posted to Reddit -- claimed he was confronted with a police calling card upon arriving at home.
"They've busted my house," the man said as he described the damage, filming the interior to reveal a legal cryptocurrency mining rig operation.
He alleged Elizabeth police "heard noises" from a large fan inside one room and mistook that for being part of a hydroponics operation.
"They damaged my property, cut the chain on my fence, destroyed my home -- for computers," he said as he narrated the video.
After placing a call to local police, the man claimed: "they hung up on me".
"Ridiculous! Who's going to pay for my damage? The guy can't even answer that question, refuses to answer. A**holes!"
A SAPOL spokesperson confirmed to 10 daily there was forced entry to the premises in question "after officers were unable to gain entry."
They added police do not give prior notice of the intention to execute search warrants "for operational reasons".
"Police always try to minimise any damage caused during operations. No offences were detected and information was left for the owner to contact police," the spokesperson said.
A mining rig is a legal computer system used for mining bitcoins.
The Reddit sub-thread 'Australia' -- with about 300,000 subscribers -- has hundreds of comments about the video, which is at almost 7,000 views.
"I would be getting all of the repairs done by a qualified repairer, getting the invoices and then getting SAPOL to pay for it," one Reddit user wrote.
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"People actually mine cryptocurrency in Australia? Electricity here is way more expensive than other parts of the world, and it's hot. It's insanely uncompetitive to mine here, and extremely stupid," stated another.
Police have extensive powers to investigate suspected criminal offences in South Australia.
They can search premises without a (magistrate-issued) warrant if there is "reasonable cause to suspect stolen goods or evidence of the commission of an offence", according to the Legal Services Commission of South Australia.