Authorities and power utilities in various Russian regions have shut down illegal crypto mining operations, seized equipment, and prosecuted operators. The action against coin-minting facilities comes amid talks over a proposal to introduce criminal liability for minors who breach upcoming legislation for the industry.
Shutting Down ‘Underground’ Crypto Mining Farms Across Russia
Police and power utilities have uncovered and dismantled illegal crypto mining facilities in Siberia and southern Russia, local crypto news outlets reported this week, citing authorities. In one case, the organizers of a mining company were accused of stealing large amounts of electricity.
Employees of Rosseti North Caucasus found a rather large improvised mining farm in the Shpakovsky district of Stavropol Krai. Working with law enforcement, they confiscated 66 ASIC miners, the region’s power company said on Friday.
A resident of Nadezhda village, who placed the equipment in his house and connected it to the grid, may now face criminal liability for operating the underground facility. Electrical engineers estimated that it burned 954,000 kWh of electricity for more than 6 million rubles ($78,000).
A similar installation was discovered in the attic of a school in the town of Shelekhov, Irkutsk Oblast, when police responded to a report from the local electricity utility about abnormally high electricity consumption. and noise from the roof of the building. Officers seized 25 mining units that had been installed by the school electrician and a friend of his who was a computer scientist.
Such cases are quite common in the Siberian region, dubbed the mining capital of Russia, where many people operate basements, garages and dachas, trying to earn money using subsidized electricity in residential areas. According to a February report, over 1,000 lawsuits have been filed against home-based crypto miners in Irkutsk.
This week, the prosecutor’s office in Tomsk, another Siberian oblast, announced that it had approved the indictment in a criminal case against seven local residents who organized to illegally connect several premises with crypto equipment. – network mining. They are accused of causing damage to the electricity supplier for an estimated amount of 24 million rubles (over $310,000).
The latest examples of Russian authorities cracking down on unauthorized mining come as lawmakers and government officials prepare to resubmit a revised bill to regulate the activity. Amendments introducing harsh criminal liability and penalties for so-called “grey” miners who evade tax have drawn backlash from the crypto industry.
Do you think the Russian government will continue to crack down on underground crypto miners? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
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