An employee of the hospital in Gorno-Altaysk, capital of the Altai state in Russia faces up to two years in prison. The IT technician of this health facility is accused of using the electricity of the Covid 19 treatment clinic to mine cryptocurrencies. At the moment, the suspect has already been arrested by the police but his identity has not yet been revealed.
Diverting electricity from a Covid-19 clinic, a false good idea
The authorities of the Russian state of Altai announced the arrest of the information security officer of the hospital in Gorno-Altaysk. The latter is accused of having installed a mining farm in the medical establishment. According to a statement from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the suspect was mining cryptocurrencies on the hospital grounds since February 2021.
For nearly a year, the mining farm caused losses in the amount of more than 400,000 rubles (nearly $7,000 USD), according to the regional branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB), which joined the investigation launched by the Interior Ministry.
The investigators also claim to have found and seized from the home of the accused mining equipment and computer equipment, so that it would appear that he had installed his mining farm at home… alas he did not have the necessary energy at his home, he would have at least tried.
A complaint has been filed against this “illegal miner” who faces up to two years in prison if the offence charged is recognized by the court.
Mining allowed but highly supervised in Russia
Under Russian law, cryptocurrency mining is not illegal. The country has even recently encouraged mining in certain areas with excess electricity production. This is the case in Siberia. Nevertheless, the country’s authorities are fiercely monitoring and cracking down on fraudsters who use energy for mining purposes in inappropriate locations.
A few months ago, for example, the authorities in Dagestan seized nearly 1,500 mining machines and closed down two mining farms, one of which was located in a pumping station of the Russian Republic’s water department. Last May, another mining facility operated by a prison official was discovered in the oldest prison in Butyrka.
Mining activities in Russia are also affected to some extent by the diplomatic pressures resulting from the war with Ukraine in recent months. Recently, SBI Crypto announced that it would be shutting down its Russian-based mining operations.
Still, it should be remembered that Russia remains one of the best destinations for cryptocurrency miners. The regulatory framework there is rather open. But also, the low electricity costs in some parts of the country as well as the very cold climate make Russia a favorable land for mining.
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