Russian Police Arrest Two for Mining Bitcoins with Stolen Electric Power

Orenburg businessmen built their mining farm on the site of a former plant and stole electricity from the nearest power substation.

Russian police have initiated criminal investigations against two entrepreneurs for illegal crypto mining, RIA56 reports, citing Irina Volk, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (MIA RF). The two created a mining farm on the site of an abandoned industrial rubber goods plant in Orenburg. 

While mining activities are gaining popularity in Russia, the  two Orenburg businessmen found a way to mine Bitcoins and not pay huge electricity bills. They deployed a crypto farm with a productive capacity about 8 million kWh on the site of a now non-operating industrial rubber goods plant, and privately mined digital coins with stolen electricity.

While investigating the crime scene, police officers discovered over 6,000 pieces of operating mining equipment with power cables connected to the electric power substation located nearby.

"As preliminary investigation concluded, high technology equipment was used to create cryptocurrency. The persons suspected of having committed the crime have been identified following the investigation carried out by the Orenburg Regional Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia," Irina Volk explained.

The alleged crypto miners are top-managers of the rubber goods company. The police have opened an investigation over material damage the illegal operation caused.

The police started to receive reports about the mining farm operating at the Orenburg plant at the beginning of March, but the information or details of the investigation were not disclosed at that stage.

Power engineers suspected large scale electricity theft was occurring and informed the police, which carried out an inspection and discovered the high-power computer equipment.

The scale and the profitability of the farm along with the material damage done to the electricity company have not been not disclosed.