Brazilian police have arrested a man for operating a clandestine drug laboratory and using the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC) to launder the proceeds, Cointelegraph Brasil reported on April 24.
The State Department of Drug Trafficking (Denarc) in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, reportedly located a clandestine bitcoin mining laboratory in a small house while chasing a suspected drug trafficker on April 23. The report says the discovery is "something considered unusual in Rio Grande do Sul."
At the site, law enforcement officials found 25 digital currency mining machines, which ran 24 hours a day, as well as "sophisticated" software and hardware, with an estimated value of more than 250,000 reals ($63,000).
According to the police, the person who claimed to be responsible for the equipment argued that “he rented the space and was mining bitcoin as an investment — which is not abnormal." The suspect was reportedly fined for illegal use of electric power in the house.
Earlier in April, the Manhattan district attorney indicted a group of individuals with allegedly selling drugs and laundering millions of dollars with bitcoin. The defendants allegedly operated stores on the Dark Web that sold and shipped “hundreds of thousands” of tablets of counterfeit drugs.
Recently, a United States federal jury convicted two alleged cybercriminals of spreading malware to steal credit card credentials and illicitly mine cryptocurrency. The infected computers also reportedly registered over 100,000 AOL email accounts that were used to spread the malware further with millions of emails sent to the stolen addresses.