The Malaga Police, in Spain, reported this February 19 about the arrest of a 38 year old man for allegedly stealing electricity from the company where he worked to mine cryptocurrencies.
According to information published in local media, the man is accused of the crime of defrauding electric power, having consumed more than 1600 euros in electricity after installing, without authorization, equipment for mining bitcoins in a restricted area of the company where he offered his services.
The detainee was an independent consultant who was responsible for the maintenance of equipment and technical support in an unidentified Malaga company. According to the media, he was fired after it was discovered that he had installed programs for the cryptocurrency mining in the company’s equipment.
From this discovery, the company made the complaint to the police, so the Cybercrime group of the Provincial Police Station initiated the investigation process. In this way, it was detected that, in parallel, the subject had installed about six Bitcoin mining equipment, indicating that it was about stabilizers. Apparently, the company was unaware of the operation of these devices, which had a high energy requirement.
According to the calculations of the police body, the man would have obtained gains in the order of 4,846 euros with illegal mining. Although the agency does not explain it, it is estimated that to obtain this income it should have been mining for more than 10 months with equipment similar to an S9, or perhaps for more than 6 months with about six Antminer S15 of 28TH.
It is worth noting that until now, Spanish laws do not have specific regulations for cryptocurrencies. However, it is expected that this year the State Agency for Tax Administration of Spain will intensify controls within the sector of cryptoactives.
Since last October there is the obligation to declare the ownership of cryptocurrencies, along with the rest of the property owned by the individual. In parallel, the General Directorate of Taxes established that cryptocurrency mining as an economic activity that must be declared, although it is not subject to VAT. Therefore, the miners must register in the system of Tax on Economic Activities.
On the other hand, the theft of electricity to mine cryptocurrencies is a punishable activity in several countries of the world. In September 2018, the Chinese authorities sentenced a man to three and a half years in prison, along with the payment of a fine of 100,000 yuan (about 14,428 dollars) for stealing electric power from a railway company to mine cryptocurrencies.
Last year, more than 200 Bitcoin and Ethereum mining teams were seized in a police operation in the Anhui province in eastern China. According to reports, the equipment had been used to steal close to 150,000 kW per hour of electricity for more than a month.
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