Russian post office boss busted processing digital currency at work

A Russian post office boss is behind bars for allegedly processing digital currencies using work computers. According to the authorities, he had been illegally processing digital currency transactions since September 2019.

The suspect used to serve as the head of the post office in Mineralnye Vody, a town in the southern part of Russia. He had been processing digital currencies secretly using the post office’s resources, a report by Russian outlet RNS revealed.

According to the Investigative Committee of Russia, the country’s main federal investigating authority, he had been processing digital currencies for six months. In its report, the Committee stated, “According to the investigation, since September 2019, the suspect installed and illegally connected computer equipment for the extraction of cryptocurrency to the power network in the branch of JSC Russian Post.”

The investigators estimate that the illegal activity costs the post office 30,000 rubles ($428). The culprit is charged with abuse of power, but the investigations are still ongoing. His name has been withheld from the media as the police are still investigating the crime.

This is the latest instance of what has become a common crime in Russia. Electricity costs have always been the biggest cost factor in the digital currency transaction processing industry. To circumvent this, some block reward miners have ended up stealing electricity or using company and state resources to mine. Many have ended up behind bars.

In Russia, illegal transaction processing has been especially rampant. A month ago, Russian police arrested 10 suspects for processing digital currencies illegally. The 10 had established eight operation bases across the country. They used equipment that understated the amount of electricity used. The suspects were alleged to have illegally used over $190,000 worth of electricity.

In yet another case in Russia, a nuclear scientist was sentenced to three years in prison after he was found to have used work resources to process digital currencies. The scientist also had to pay a $3,100 fine for his crime, with authorities claiming they had made at least $15,000 from their activities.

Illegal transaction processing is not limited to Russia alone. Over in China, an employee of the tech giant Baidu was found to have engaged in the activity. The engineer reportedly made $14,250 before the authorities caught up with him. He’s serving a three-year prison sentence.

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