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Russian regulator investigates Bitcoin underpaid customs' fees

Maya Mandz | Jul. 31, 2019
Russian regulator investigates Bitcoin underpaid customs' fees

When it comes to cryptocurrency legislation in Russia, the picture seems to be very vague. However, the regulators made it clear, that crypto mining is not the activity which they want to have in the region. Despite that, different actors are trying to sneak mining equipment to Russia by using different channels. Sometimes, they fail. 

July 31, 2019 | AtoZ Markets - As per the latest media reports, the Russian Federal Customs Service has opened a criminal investigation on the Far-East Trading and Industrial Company, or DTPK, for potential underpayment of customs fees.  

Russian regulator investigates Bitcoin miners’ importers 

According to the report, the company, supervised by Artem Aleksandrovich Bublik, may have underpaid about $1.2 million on 6,012 Bitmain-manufactured ASIC miners imported from August 2017 to February 2018. 

As per media investigation details, Moscow-based Bitcoin miners' importer DTPK provided the Customs Service officers documents with the incorrect prices for the equipment. The papers included Bitmain’s Antminer S9-13.5, L3+, and D3 models, along with power elements for them, says the search warrant, dated July 17.

Along with the forged documents, DTPK gave the authorities misleading information about the miners they received from a Korean firm, MSR Co., via a Hong Kong-based company called Manli. When contacted by customs officers, MSR said it didn’t have a contract with DTPK, except an expired one signed back in 2012. DTPK CEO, Artem Aleksandrovich Bublik did not provide any comments on the case. 

Armed forces raid the Intelion Mining offices

During the TerraCrypto mining conference which took place in Moscow on July 25, Alexander Shashkov, the founder of Intelion Mining, revealed that Russian Customs sent armed forces to his offices in two Russian cities.

Shashkov stated, that the authorities suspected the DTPK-imported miners ended up at his company’s data centers in Tula and in Moscow and sent people with machine guns and pistols to check the offices’ computers' equipment.

Shashkov assured the law enforcement that his company had nothing to do with the miners under investigation, but the Russian authorities ended up seizing 2,500 ASICs hosted by the company anyway because the clients who owned them hadn’t presented valid documentation. 

Intelion Mining adviced fellow mining entrepreneurs to always check the documents for the miners they take for hosting.

Most of the mining hardware in Russia is lacking proper documentation

Bitmain’s representative in Russia, Yulia Fetisova, stated that so-called grey imports, with unpaid customs fees, might be coming into the country through companies that buy large batches of miners from Chinese manufacturers and resell them to retail clients.

Fetisova stated that illegal miners, coming from the Chinese reselling companies don’t go through the Russian office. As Bitmain’s official noted, usually the delivery time through such reselling companies is shorter, compared to the legal miners' dealers. Thus, people often prefer illegal importers. 

The crypto industry experts stated, that seventy percent of miners from China are imported to Russia via grey schemes. However, as Intelion’s sales director, Alexey Afanasev stated, they are working only with the legit ones. 

Anton Makarchuk, chief marketing officer of Cryptouniverse, a company selling mining equipment in Russia, has the same opinion about that matter. 

Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of AtoZ Markets.com, nor should they be attributed to AtoZMarkets.