Brazilian law enforcement have in custody a man suspected of running an underground drug laboratory and utilizing bitcoin (BTC) to launder the money he makes from the sales.
According to a report from Brazil’s Department of Drug Trafficking (Denarc) in Rio Grande do Sul, they located an illegal bitcoin mining operation in one residence while running down a suspect believed to be involved in drug trafficking on April 23. The department called the discovery unusual, especially as it happened in Rio Grande do Sul.
Police secured 25 machines used to mine digital currency 24/7. They also found high-end hardware and software. The police estimated the value of their discovery to be around 250,000 reals or $63,000.
Law enforcement also shared that the suspect responsible for the digital mining equipment claimed that he was only renting the house and was mining the currency as investment. He also pointed out that his actions were not abnormal.
The suspect is said to have been fined for illegally using electricity in the house.
Crimes involving cryptocurrency have been on the rise recently. Just last month, Manhattan’s district attorney arraigned several individuals on charges of selling illegal substances and laundering millions using bitcoin. The defendants are accused of running stores on the Dark Web that sold and distributed thousands of counterfeit medications and drugs.
Meanwhile, a US federal jury recently convicted two suspected cybercriminals said to have spread malware in order to steal credit card information and illegally mine digital currency. The affected computers allegedly registered more than 100,000 AOL email addresses that were utilized to infect millions more with the malware.