Police inspections linked the mines to high-level politicians, including the brother of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
As per a government-issued statement, the crackdown on crypto mines in Kazakhstan continues; however, some big names are linked to these mines this time. Out of the 106 mines shut after an operation, 55 shut themselves voluntarily, and the authorities forced the remaining 51 to shut down.
The firms forced to shut down have reportedly defaulted on tax, evaded tax, and placed their equipment in special economic zones without permission. As per the statement, Bolat Nazarbayev, the brother of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Alexander Klebanov, the chairman of Central Asian Electric Power Corp. (supplies electricity to 2 million households), were among the names linked to the mines.
Authorities have seized 67,000 machines valued at 100 billion Kazakh tenges ($193 million) and filed 25 criminal cases against the offenders.
In February, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered Kazakh authorities to inspect customs, tax, and other technical documents of all crypto mining operations in the country. The Financial Monitoring Agency was assigned to oversee the inspection and report back to the President’s office by March.
After the China ban, Kazakhstan became a mining hub for many crypto miners, as the country capped electricity prices. Initially, they were welcomed, but the national grid was burdened due to the heavy power consumption of mining activities. As a result, the country started cracking down on illegal facilities.