Russian Authorities Confiscate Over 3,200 Crypto Mining Rigs in Siberia Crackdown

Bitcoin Miners

Russian authorities have conducted raids on four major “illegal” data centers in Siberia, resulting in the seizure of over 3,200 cryptocurrency mining rigs. The Novosibirsk branch of the Russian power provider Rosseti, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, led the crackdown on these illicit operations.

Criminal Charges Filed Against Mining Center Operators

According to reports from Rosseti via RBC Crypto, police have leveled criminal charges against the operators of these mining centers. The facilities were identified as part of an interconnected “network” of illegal crypto-mining operations scattered throughout the city of Novosibirsk.

Massive Electricity Theft Uncovered

Rosseti revealed that the illicit mining centers collectively stole an estimated $2.1 million worth of electricity from the Novosibirsk power grid. During the raids, authorities confiscated nine power transformers along with the 3,225 cryptocurrency mining devices.

Widespread Presence of Illegal Mining Farms

Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia, has emerged as a significant hub for Russia’s rapidly growing crypto mining industry, alongside Irkutsk located nearly 2,000km to the east. However, concerns have arisen over the surge in illegal mining activities, characterized by unauthorized connections to the power grid for electricity theft.

Police Crackdown and Legal Ramifications

In a coordinated effort, Novosibirsk police officers shut down operations at all four illegal crypto-mining farms simultaneously. The raids targeted facilities located near a wastewater treatment plant, in a forest on the outskirts, near a city landfill, and within a private sector area. Despite the sophisticated power equipment used by the operators, none of the centers were authorized to connect to the power grids.

Officials have pressed charges against the operators, highlighting the severity of the electricity theft. If convicted, the perpetrators could face significant jail time for their involvement in illegal crypto-mining operations.

The crackdown underscores the ongoing battle against illicit cryptocurrency activities, emphasizing the need for regulatory enforcement to maintain integrity within the industry.

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