Venezuelan authorities found weapons of war, a discotheque, pools, a zoo, and even a makeshift Bitcoin mining farm in a raid completed on a national jail. The raid, executed in the Tocoron National Penitentiary Center, located in the Aragua state, mobilized 11,000 military officers to take control of the center.
Bitcoin Miners, Grenades, and Weapons Found in Venezuelan Jail Raid
Venezuelan authorities found Bitcoin miners among a series of irregular items during a raid executed on a national jail on September 21. 11,000 military and police officers participated in this action to liberate the Tocoron National Penitentiary in the Aragua state from the control of Aragua’s Train, the gang that managed the complex.
In a video detailing the aftermath of the raid, where an officer died in the line of duty, an undisclosed number of Bitcoin miners can be seen in a room that served as a mining farm. During the raid, the authorities found weapons of war, including rocket launchers, grenades, rifles, ammunition, and even C4 mines.
Other eccentricities were found inside the complex, including swimming pools, a discotheque where inmates held lavish parties, a baseball stadium, and even a makeshift zoo. Rosibel Gonzalez, a journalist in Venezuela, added that bikes, ice cream stalls, restaurants, and a children’s park were also found inside the complex.
Authorities reported that more than 1,600 inmates will be transferred to other national centers and that Tocoron will be closed.
Registered Venezuelan Bitcoin Miners Still in the Dark
While inmates had a micro mining farm in the penitentiary center, registered and legal Bitcoin miners are still being kept in the dark since Sunacrip, the Venezuelan cryptocurrency watchdog, was interrupted by a national government intervention more than six months ago.
Juan Blanco Bracamonte, a former Bitcoin miner who abandoned his activity due to the Sunacrip intervention, questioned the existence of these farms in a national jail. He stated:
Several questions arise for me as a digital miner who carried out this economic activity until this year. Who authorized the placement of that farm? Who managed the farm? What wallet did those funds go to? Who authorized the electrical availability? Did they pay for electricity consumption?
The former head of Sunacrip, Joselit Ramirez, was arrested for alleged involvement in a $20+ billion corruption scheme involving the sale of oil for cryptocurrencies to sidestep economic sanctions. Since then, registered cryptocurrency farms have been disconnected from the grid by the state power company, Corpoelec.
In an interview with Criptonoticias, Alejandro Blanco, counsel for Asonacrip, a national cryptocurrency association, explained that Sunacrip puts miners who “invested their savings, time, and knowledge in complying with the current legal system” in jeopardy with these measures.
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