Corruption Scandal in Paraguay: Senator Alleges Illegal Bitcoin Mining Bribes

  • Sergey Maga
  • 6 July, 2024 15:38
Corruption Scandal in Paraguay: Senator Alleges Illegal Bitcoin Mining Bribes

Senator Salyn Buzarquis of Paraguay has brought forward serious allegations against high-ranking officials in the National Electricity Administration (ANDE), accusing them of accepting substantial bribes from illegal Bitcoin mining operations. According to Buzarquis, these officials have been receiving up to $500,000 in bribes monthly to allow unauthorized mining activities to continue, according to Bitcoin.com.

During a Senate session, Buzarquis claimed that this corruption could not occur without the knowledge of ANDE President Félix Sosa. “The top management of ANDE, with the help of their officials, is extorting around $500,000 in bribes for stealing electricity from the people of Paraguay through illegal cryptocurrency activities,” stated the senator. He further emphasized the improbability of Sosa being unaware of such large-scale theft of electricity in real time.

In response to these accusations, ANDE released a statement denying the claims and highlighting their efforts to combat energy theft. The statement asserted, “This administration has been distinguished by implementing a direct fight against such criminal activities, especially regarding facilities illegally engaged in cryptocurrency mining.”

Despite ANDE’s denial, Buzarquis called for the resignation of Sosa or for his appearance before the Senate to address these allegations. This call for accountability comes in the wake of ANDE’s recent announcement to increase electricity tariffs for legal cryptocurrency mining operators in Paraguay by 14%, a decision that has faced significant opposition from the industry.

Adding to the complexity of the situation, reports have surfaced suggesting that ANDE employees have been involved in this corrupt scheme since 2018. This long-standing issue raises questions about the integrity and oversight within Paraguay’s energy administration.

This corruption scandal highlights significant governance issues within Paraguay’s handling of its energy resources and regulatory oversight of cryptocurrency mining. The allegations, if proven true, could lead to major reforms in the country’s approach to both energy management and the regulation of emerging digital industries.

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