Officials from the Oblast Directorate of the Ministry of Interior Affairs (ODMVR) and CEZ Electro Bulgaria have reportedly made two arrests in what is described as the “largest theft” of electricity for cryptocurrency mining in the Balkan country.
The two men arrested were found on the premises of two cryptocurrency mining farms that have both illegally tapped BGN 2.5 million (USD 1.51 million) worth of electricity, according to reports from a local news outlet, Dnes.bg.
The crypto mining farms were located on the territory of Kyustendil, and the officials were quoted saying that the electricity stolen is worth as much power as the entire city of Kyustendil will consume for a month in the summer.
Per the article, the officials claim that one of the farms had been operating for about six months while the other started operations some three months ago. The suspects have been released on bail, and pre-trial proceedings against the two were instituted for illegal connection to the electricity distribution network and theft of electricity.
Illegal cryptocurrency mining is not uncommon in the cryptoverse, and such cases have been reported in China, South Korea, and Kazakhstan among others. Because of the strict regulations against these mining activities, unauthorized miners usually carry out their activities while getting backdoor access to electricity. This could prove profitable for the miners, but a loss for the electricity provider.
As reported, Concerned about the activities of illegal miners in Abkhazia, the autonomous Republic of Georgia, the country’s custom Chief, Guram Inapshba, recently noted that resolving the illegal mining situation would be quite simple if the authorities could ensure that no mining equipment is imported into the country. While this proposition may seem plausible based on the country’s regulations, the disparity in regulations among nations may make this model for tackling illegal mining inapplicable in other regions.