Russian police investigate Bitcoin miner import scheme

It has been suggested that $1.2 million in customs fees are outstanding.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

The Russian Federal Customs Service is investigating an alleged failure to pay customs fees for over 6,000 Bitcoin miners imported into the country. 

According to a search warrant seen by CoinDesk, the Far-East Trading and Industrial Company -- also known as DTPK -- may have failed to pay approximately $1.2 million in customs fees generated by the import of 6,012 miners. 

The Bitmain ASIC miners in question are touted as energy-saving Bitcoin miners with high hash rates. 

It is alleged that the company also falsified documents which showed fake pricing for the computer systems, including the Antminer S9-13.5, L3+, and D3.

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Miners are used in joining 'pools' for mining blocks of cryptocurrency by solving computational puzzles which require GPU-supportive miners or specialized hardware. 

The publication says that Moscow-based DTPK may have not paid its due on imports from August 2017 to February 2018, as well as pretended that the miners were received from Korean mining company MSR, despite not having a contract with the firm in question.  

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The investigation was made public on July 25. 

Armed officers also visited the premises of Intelion Mining and seized 2,500 miners on suspicion that the systems were so-called "grey" imports, and given the illegality and lack of customs fees paid, the miners were confiscated. Intelion Mining, which hosts miners on behalf of clients, says it has nothing to do with clients' mining equipment.

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Given the potentially lucrative mining possibilities on hand, it is not just miners themselves which may be at the heart of criminal activity. 

Earlier this month, Chinese police confiscated close to 4,000 mining rigs that were being powered by electricity stolen from a local utility company, and in June, a Chinese man was arrested for disguising cables used to siphon electricity from an oil rig to run cryptocurrency mining operations in fish ponds. 

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