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In an operation to combat illegal Bitcoin mining, the Paraguayan government confiscated approximately 10 tons of equipment used in a mining pool in the city of Lambaré.

The action by the National Electricity Administration (ANDE) is part of a strict policy against unauthorized energy extraction. After all, the resource is essential for the country’s economy.

The operation included the participation of specialized technicians from ANDE. They dismantled electrical installations and seized equipment valued at approximately US$1,500,000.

“We are taking five transformers. One large, approximately 4,000 kVA, and others smaller than 300 kVA, in addition to the conductors that are part of the electrical installation”, said Lucio Ortiz, head of departmental interventions at ANDE.

Ortiz stressed that all seized Bitcoin mining material will be sent to the warehouse in Trinidad. This seizure is part of a series of interventions carried out at the same location since February, when the illegal connection was discovered in a 150 square meter warehouse in the “Puerto Pabla” neighborhood.

Bitcoin Mining

The latest operation to seize Bitcoin mining equipment is the third intervention at the site, where ASIC processors had previously been confiscated. The new inspector appointed to the case coordinated the action, together with ANDE technicians, to seize remaining transformers and processors.

“Illegal connection of electricity, disruption of public service and sabotage are common accusations against those involved,” said engineer Hugo Rolón, commercial manager at ANDE.

The main defendant, Albino Rojas González, is already facing other charges of illegal energy extraction in Quiindy and San Antonio. Despite the rigorous actions, there are growing suspicions of collusion between ANDE technicians and local authorities.

Ortiz revealed that an employee, identified as Triguis, was involved in setting up several Bitcoin mining pools. In addition, he had help from six other engineers.

“It is estimated that the cost of setting up an illegal mining facility is half a million dollars,” Ortiz said.

Although the government has carried out around 72 operations since 2019, the effectiveness of legal measures against illegal miners is questioned. Nelson Medina, a lawyer and legal advisor at ANDE, says that the low rate of effective prosecutions allows many defendants to avoid severe penalties through donations or social reparations.

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