Australian police mistake crypto mining rig for suspected pot farm

A man is demanding answers after his quiet suburban home was raided by Australian police, tipped by members of the public who thought its high electricity use, and elaborate ventilation system was hiding a marijuana farm.

Owner Rob Butvila says he arrived home to find the property unlocked, with gates and doors broken, and fence panels removed.

Butvila filmed his angry reaction as he entered the house and described the damage. Uploaded to Facebook and YouTube, the video has already been viewed over 10,000 times.

Alongside the video, Butvila wrote: “SAPOL [South Australia Police] used brutal and destructive force, kicking in doors without a magistrate issued warrant to find cryptocurrency mining computers where they expected to find a marijuana grow room.”

Acting on information from the public, police forced their way into the Smithfield Plains home to search for a possible grow room on Monday. Instead, officers stumbled across a cryptocurrency mining rig and its ventilation system.

As you can see, the similarities to a marijuana farm are between zero and none:

On the news website News.com.au, a South Australian Police spokeswoman said no offences were detected during the search.

“Information was left for the owner to contact police,” the spokeswoman said.

“For operational reasons, police do not give prior notice of the intention to execute search warrants. Police always try to minimise any damage caused during operations.”

Butvila said he would be submitting quotes to the police for the damage and was considering legal action.