Crypto News

Illicit Bitcoin Mine Busted: R10M Equipment Seized in South Africa

Published by
WIlliam Dube
  1. South African authorities seized R10 million worth of illicit bitcoin mining equipment connected to the Vryburg power grid, highlighting the energy-intensive nature of cryptocurrency mining.
  2. During the raid, 14,617 bottles of duty-free liquor valued at R3.8 million were also confiscated, indicating the warehouse was a hub for criminal activities.
  3. SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter emphasized the importance of cracking down on such illegal operations, as they undermine the economy and will be met with the full force of the law.

South African Revenue Service (SARS) officials, in collaboration with local police, have seized bitcoin mining equipment worth an estimated R10 million ($705,000) illegally connected to the Vryburg power grid in the North West province. The equipment was discovered during a raid on an unauthorized warehouse that was also found to house a large stockpile of duty-free liquor.

Cryptocurrency mining, particularly bitcoin, is a highly energy-consuming process. Research from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance has shown that the global energy consumption for bitcoin mining rivals that of a small country. The illegal connection to the power grid in this case exacerbates the negative environmental impacts of the mining process.

In addition to the bitcoin mining equipment, the authorities also confiscated 14,617 bottles of duty-free liquor valued at around R3.8 million ($267,900). The discovery of counterfeit liquor and high-tech computer equipment points to the warehouse being a hub for criminal activities.

SARS conducted the raid on the unauthorized warehouse on Thursday, resulting in the arrest of one foreign national. Further investigations are ongoing, and more arrests are expected as authorities continue to dismantle the criminal operation.

In a statement, SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter applauded the successful raid, emphasizing the importance of cracking down on such criminal activities. He stressed that “the abuse of duty-free labels to circumvent payable duties and other criminal undertakings found at this warehouse undermines our economy and will be confronted and met with the full might of the law.”

This operation highlights the ongoing efforts of South African authorities to combat illegal cryptocurrency mining and other criminal activities that damage the economy and the environment. As technology advances and cryptocurrencies continue to gain prominence, it is crucial for law enforcement agencies to remain vigilant and work together to protect the nation’s resources and uphold the law.

WIlliam Dube

William Dube is a finance and economic news expert with over 10 years of experience in economic anaylsis, financial product assessment and market analysis. With a numerous certificates from prestigious universities including but not limited to Yale University and the University of Pennyslivenia. William specializes in providing insightful news developments in South Africa and commentary on investment strategies, risk management, and global economic trends. You can contact him on

Published by
WIlliam Dube

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