On Friday, August 14th, two Bitcoin farmers in Bulgaria stole electricity worth $1.5 million. According to the Bulgarian news officials, two nationals had been arrested under theft charges for stealing around $1.5M in electricity by using the same for running illegal operations in their cryptocurrency mining farms.
The Bulgarian authorities have charged these two men with theft and unauthorized transfer of over $1.5 million in electricity. The stolen electricity was later used for operating two crypto mining farms in Bulgaria. The two Bulgarian nationals are currently detained for their links with $1.5 million electricity theft and their BTC mining operations in the town of Kyustendil are being investigated.
The Oblast Directorate of the Ministry of Interior Affairs representatives and the CEZ Electro Bulgaria spokesperson held a news conference, where they stated how the two Bulgarian Bitcoin farmers were funneling electricity to power their crypto mining farms. The two nationals belong to Sofia, Bulgaria, and are aged 31 and 38. The conference also revealed that the said power thieves were illegally running their crypto mining farms for nearly six months.
The evidence discovered by the Bulgarian cyber police authorities suggests that the two men were using a suspicious crypto mining equipment for over a year. Philip Yordanov, the Deputy Director of CEZ, marks this instance as the “largest theft” of Bulgarian electricity. The utilities firm also confirmed the stolen amount could power a small township for nearly a month. Within 24-hour of their arrest, the two men were released on bail and currently await trials.
Instances of unscrupulous cryptocurrency miners are not new in European markets. Bulgaria is just a new addition to European countries facing illegal power siphoning attempts. As more people have become aware of the profitability of BTC tokens, such thefts are growing at an alarming rate. In 2019, one of the largest power/electricity thefts had been registered in China, where 22 individuals reportedly involved in illegal crypto mining operations were arrested for stealing $3 million worth of electricity.