The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has located a massive coinage that was illegally connected to the power grid in Vinnytsia. Law enforcement officials claim it is the largest underground crypto-mining farm they have found so far.
Ukraine seizes thousands of video game consoles Mining Crypto with stolen electricity
Ukraine’s main law enforcement agency, the SBU, announced this week that it was exposing a large-scale electricity theft in the city of Vinnytsia, in west-central Ukraine. The stolen power was used to mint digital coins in what officials described as the country’s largest illegal crypto farm uncovered to date.
The mine was set up by residents of Vinnytsia and the capital Kiev in a former warehouse of JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho, the agency said in a press release published on the website. They managed to hide the theft from the distribution company using electricity meters that did not show the actual energy consumption.
During searches of the crypt and the operator’s homes, police seized nearly 5,000 mining units, including 3,800 game consoles, more than 500 video cards and 50 processors. Agents confiscated documentation on power consumption as well as laptops, phones and flash drives, according to the announcement.
The operation has been carried out by the SBU Department of Anti-Intelligence Protection of State Economic Interests together with the Regional SBU Office in Vinnytsia and the main National Police Investigation Department, under the supervision of Ukraine’s Public Prosecutor.
Illegal mining in Vinnytsia steals up to $ 250,000 in electricity
Preliminary estimates released by Ukrainian authorities suggest that the illegal mining is responsible for the loss of electricity in the range of 5 to 7 million hryvnia, or between about $ 183,000 and $ 256,000, at the time of writing. Excessive consumption may have caused power outages and power outages in the surrounding areas, officials added.
SBU has initiated criminal proceedings for unauthorized use of electricity. Investigators are now working to identify anyone behind the illegal cryptocurrency operations and are trying to verify whether JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho employees are also involved.
The news from Vinnytsia comes after last week’s Ukrainian law enforcement shut down an illegal mining operation in Chernihiv Oblast. The plant was powered by stolen electricity from the local electrical network. During a raid of leased warehouses, authorities seized 150 mining rigs that had burned energy for $ 110,000. In early June, the SBU uncovered a crypto farm with 350 mining rigs that were illegally connected to the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast power grid and had used more than $ 70,000 in electricity.
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