Russian police have shut down a makeshift crypto rig, arresting two individuals for engaging in illicit Bitcoin mining activities on April 11, 2018.
Warehouse Seized by Authorities
According to reports, Ministry of Internal Affairs official, Irina Volk revealed that Russian Security Forces had arrested two people who turned an abandoned rubber manufacturing facility into an illegal crypto mining rig.
Over 6,000 pieces of mining equipment were installed by the suspects in the dilapidated factory located in the city of Orenburg, Southeast of Moscow. The Russian police also recorded video footage of the raid. Authorities are charging the two suspects who happen to be former employees of the factory, with property damage and other criminal offenses.
Per sources close to the matter, rumors of the illegal mining operation first started spreading in March 2018. However, the police refused to investigate the issue at the time immediately but sprang into action when it was discovered that the farm illegally consumed eight million kW/h worth of electricity which is roughly estimated at nearly 60 million rubles ($9,700).
Illegal Miners on the Prowl
In February 2018 sources emerged that the Kaliningrad and Leningrad regions, two provinces in the westernmost part of the Russian Federation, had thrown their doors wide open for large-scale crypto miners to come in. While Bitcoin mining is not illegal in Russia, the government does frown on unlawful mining operations.
In February BTCManager reported that Russian security authorities captured some nuclear scientists who were found mining bitcoin using supercomputers at the Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov.
“There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining. As far as we are aware, a criminal case has been launched against them,” said the media department of the nuclear center, back in February 2018.
Notably, clandestine mining activities have become quite a commonplace in recent times.
At the beginning of April 2018, Washington Chelan county’s Public Utility District (PUD) declared total war on unauthorized Bitcoin miners after discovering some “scoundrels” are still carrying out mining operations despite the moratorium it earlier placed on new mining operations in the area.
While cryptocurrency mining is not a fraudulent practice in itself, its necessary for miners to carry out these operations in compliance with guidelines applicable to their localities, else their activities could be termed illegal.