- Venezuelan authorities seized a cache of Bitcoin mining machines and heavy weaponry from the Tocoron prison.
- Venezuela’s struggles with hyperinflation and subsidized electricity make Bitcoin mining popular.
- However, the profitability of the seized Bitcoin machines is uncertain, as they appear to be older versions.
- Venezuela has experienced frequent electricity blackouts and has cracked down on cryptocurrency mining facilities.
- In 2019, President Nicolas Maduro announced plans to back Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency, the petro, with oil barrels.
- Four prison guards were arrested for aiding the gang that used the prison as its headquarters.
- The gang had installed various facilities in the prison, including a restaurant, pool, gambling rooms, disco, baseball field, and a zoo.
- Gang leaders also kept other prisoners in a form of slavery.
- The seized goods included sniper rifles, explosives, rocket launchers, bullets, ammunition belts, and grenades.
Venezuelan authorities conducted a raid on the Tocoron prison, seizing Bitcoin mining machines and an arsenal of heavy weaponry from the Tren de Aragua gang. Over 11,000 police and soldiers, supported by tanks and armored vehicles, participated in the operation. Bitcoin mining is popular in Venezuela due to hyperinflation and the low cost of power. However, it is unclear how profitable the operation was as many of the seized machines were older versions. The Venezuelan government has been cracking down on cryptocurrency mining due to frequent electricity blackouts, and a temporary ban on mining cryptocurrencies effectively ended the industry in the country. The prison facilities used by the gang included various amenities like restaurants, a pool, gambling rooms, and even a zoo. The seized goods also included sniper rifles, explosives, rocket launchers, bullets, and grenades.
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