Reports from Hungarian news outlet hvg have revealed that a prominent Hungarian politician was allegedly involved in the illegal act of stealing electricity from public offices, while also operating a Bitcoin mine from his premises.
The individual in question, Tamás Borka-Szász, is the Chairman of the District Finance and the District Development Committee. He has been a member of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) for over 10 years.
Borka-Szász resigned immediately following a police search of his premises, a search that led to the confiscation of “several computers” believed to be Bitcoin mining equipment.
According to an expert who consulted with the National Investigation Bureau, the mining device is also “probably suitable for Ethereum mining.” He also drew attention to the fact that it was stored in an amateur, wooden frame structure, one which itself was a fire hazard waiting to happen.
The revelations have shocked government officials, with one statement claiming,
“On the dark web of Bitcoin mining, phishers, traffickers, arms dealers exchange money and produce currency, and it seems that the DK politician was involved in this illegal activity, with public money stealing electricity.”
This is not the first time that electricity has been stolen from the state in order to carry out cryptocurrency mining operations, however. In August, Malaysian police arrested four cryptocurrency mining operators after discovering that they were stealing electricity from the state-owned power firm, Sarawak Energy Berhad.
Russian police too arrested a resident of Makhachkala in June after it was revealed that the individual had created a crypto-mining structure that connected 500 platforms to the local power supply network, essentially stealing electricity worth over $494,000.
The biggest economic loss, in terms of power supply, was reported by China, however. Last year, 13 suspects were arrested after they stole electricity worth $3 million to mine Bitcoin.
With cases of power theft to operate mining operations continuing to emerge from around the world, some state governments have harnessed the opportunity to sell surplus electricity to cryptocurrency miners. In fact, three power plants in Iran, owing to rising production costs, intend to remain profitable by selling power specifically to crypto-miners.