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Russian Police Deny Covert Confiscation of 2 Billion Rubles, Mining Equipment

Russian Police Deny Covert Confiscation of 2 Billion Rubles, Mining Equipment

On March 14th, 2019, police confiscated cryptocurrency mining equipment and “large amounts of cash” from Sadovod and Moscow trading centers in the city of Moscow, according to a TASS police informant’s anonymous news tip. However the next day police officially denied the confiscation, adding a 2 billion ruble ($31 million USD) figure that wasn’t mentioned in the TASS report.

Also read: Lawyer: People Increasing VPN, Tor Use to Avoid Media and Crypto Censorship

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Police, Intelligence Services Visit Crypto Underground Throughout March

The original piece published by trusted Russian news agency TASS said its anonymous police informant had supplied information about the raid. Specifically, that since the beginning of March, police and officers from Rosgvardia (Russia’s equivalent to U.S. Homeland Security) have conducted several raids on the infamous trading centers Bitsonline has mentioned in numerous hot WEX scammer reports.

It appears the Sadovod and Moscow trading centers have finally attracted attention from the police for attempts to attract Chinese covert traders’ money. Some reports claimed $10 million USD daily volumes passing through these marketplaces and their shops.

Yet, police officers have denied that they were raiding the markets to find unregistered mining farms and cash. The local Ministry of Internal Affairs office released an official denial regarding the real intentions of the law enforcement agencies.

Police Mention Sums From Sources ‘Not Consistent With Reality’

Actually, the March 14th TASS report has absolutely no data about how much cash police seized. It only says that the loot contained “large amounts of cash”, and that mining rigs belonging to anonymous operators were found. Other outlets reported  that trade center workers presumably stole electricity to supply the bitcoin mining equipment. A number of supposedly less-reputable outlets have published additional reports with hyperlinks to TASS, but with added information about a 2 billion ruble confiscation.

A day after, the Russian MIA’s official statement was:

“We want to particularly stress that the messages about the police searches on territories of some trading centers of the city of Moscow, as well as about the confiscation of nearly 2 billion rubles together with mining equipment, are not consistent with reality”.

Looks Like No Confiscation Happened, But…

So, why did Ministry officials need to mention the 2 billion rubles that were “not confiscated” if this sum is inconsistent with reality and was missing in the original TASS report? Do the police read all the lower-quality news websites and try to rule out every and each trash article they find? It is known that government-related individuals in Russia often trust only agencies like TASS, avoiding citing or talking data from middle-level online outlets. Sometimes, Russia’s Roskomnadzor even blocks such sites for “disrespect to Russian law” and similar reasons.

This time, it was either a wish to “cover” the truth, or an effort to discredit all the trashier articles on the web. But what for? Especially since they have added several unproven strings and presumptions to the very short TASS news tip, which never appeared in the follow-up statement. For example, the report that trading center workers were stealing electricity. In reality, it’s almost impossible to hide such a crime in well organized companies. They usually have cameras, security, accountants, regular checks, fiscal controls and other centralized,  authoritarian measures in place. So why even mention unproven facts for their official statement?

What will happen to the underground mining in your own country in five years? Share your opinions in the comments.

Images by Jeff Fawkes

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