The Customs Authority of Argentina has seized 2,233 block reward mining rigs worth around $21 million that it alleges were overvalued in an attempt to evade taxes. The seized rigs include Whatsminer M30S models, among others.
As reported by local newspaper Ámbito Financiero, the customs regulator filed a complaint that the miners were improperly invoiced at about $5 million more than their actual value. The invoice for the devices values them at $10,000, but they are worth just around $6,316 to $7,700 each.
The miners arrived at the Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport. They were destined for a special tax zone in La Plata, Argentina, without having obtained the required approvals before they were intercepted. The machines were imported from China by an LLC based in the U.S. state of Florida, according to the invoice as reported by Ámbito. The customs authority has handed over the case to Judge Pablo Yadarola, who has ordered the inspection of the miners.
The seizure is coming amidst efforts to tighten import controls as the country faces a foreign reserve shortage. General Director of the customs office, Guillermo Michel, remarked that the use of foreign reserves must be directed at facilitating production activities.
“We must take care of the dollars for production and job creation, not for financial speculation,” he said.
The Florida-based LLC and others connected to the attempt to abuse the free zone regime will be investigated. The customs authority has also launched systemic inspections of all the companies that operate in the free zone Ámbito states.
Block reward mining and digital assets trading remain popular in Argentina
According to a BBC report, the digital currency industry has been rising in popularity among Argentinians, as has block reward mining. The trend is being attributed to a lack of trust the country’s citizens have for its financial system amidst rising inflation.
Most households take advantage of low electricity tariffs to mine digital currency in a bid to earn dollars and protect their wealth. For its part, the government of Argentina has been watching the industry closely and has expressed concern over its proliferation.
Back in May, the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) issued a directive ordering commercial banks to stop all digital currency services they offer. The directive came after two major banks announced plans to roll out digital currency trading services for their clients.
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