SBU exposes massive crypto mining in Ukraine
In the city of Vinnytsia, the SBU has exposed and documented a large-scale electricity theft. The offenders mined cryptocurrency in one of the former premises of JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho. Ukrainian law enforcement seized almost 5,000 computers. It is the largest underground crypto farm.
SBU officers established that the residents of Kyiv and Vinnytsia cities set up illegal crypto farm in a former warehouse of JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho, located in the facility's industrial park.
The offenders stole electricity of JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho. To conceal their activities, they used electricity meters that did not show a real energy consumption.
According to preliminary estimates, the monthly losses to the state ranged from UAH 5 to 7 m. (USD 186,200 to 259,300). However, such illegal activity could lead to power surges and left people without electricity.
The SBU initiated criminal proceedings for the theft of water, electricity or thermal energy through its unauthorized use.
During the authorized searches of the offenders’ residences and crypto farm, law enforcement seized:
- 3,800 game consoles;
- over 500 graphics cards;
- 50 processors;
- draft documentation on electricity consumption;
- notebooks, phones, flash drives.
Currently, investigative actions are underway to identify all the people involved in illegal activities. Involvement of the officials of JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho is being checked.
The operation was carried out by the SBU Department for CI Protection of State Economic Interests jointly with the SBU Office in Vinnytsia region and the Main National Police Investigation Department, under the supervision of the Prosecutor General's Office.