Russian police arrested two people for running an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation on Thursday.

Ministry of Internal Affairs spokeswoman Irina Volk said police detained two individuals in connection with a cryptocurrency mining farm discovered in an abandoned rubber factory. Authorities found more than 6,000 pieces of mining equipment at the site in the city of Orenburg, according to a Russian media report.

The police are charging two former factory employees with property damage, among other criminal offenses, according to the report.

According to Russian media reports, rumors of the mining farm emerged in early March, but police declined to confirm its existence. However, Volk indicated earlier today that the farm stole 8 million kW/h worth of electricity at an estimated cost of 60 million rubles (about $1 million).

This is not the first time the Russian authorities have shut down illicit crypto mining operations. In February, police arrested several scientists working at a nuclear weapons research institute for using the facility’s supercomputers for mining.

Clandestine mining operations have also cropped up in other locations, with employees from an Australian weather reporting agency, New York’s Department of Education and Louisiana’s attorney general’s office all allegedly misappropriating resources to mine cryptocurrencies.

Note: This article has been updated to amend a conversion rate

Russian police image via Shutterstock

 

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