Authorities in Argentina detect hardware overbilling to mine Bitcoin

Key facts:
  • The estimated overbilling in this batch of equipment is around USD 5 million.

  • The company that invoiced the purchase is based in the United States, although the hardware comes from China.

The General Directorate of Customs of the Argentine Republic reported the seizure of more than 2,000 units of hardware used to mine Bitcoin. The reason alleged by the Argentine authorities for such action is a case of overinvoicing that they detected in the importation of this equipment.

Among the mining hardware models seized was the Whatsminer M30S, from the MicroBT brand, one of the most profitable.

The total cost of the 2,233 miners seized amounts to USD 21.9 million, averaging about USD 10,000 per unit. However, according to the investigations carried out by Customs, the real price of this equipment ranges between USD 5,770 and USD 7,700 per unit. This results in an estimated close to $5 million in overbilling.

Regarding the market for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining equipment, CriptoNoticias recently reported that the prices of this type of hardware have been falling for several weeks. The Whatsminer M30S, for example, is around USD 6,000, as is Bitmain’s Antminer S19 Pro.. These prices are consistent with those indicated by the Argentine Customs.

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The route of Bitcoin ASIC miners to arrive in Argentina overcharged

The batch of ASIC miners arrived in Ezeiza, the administrative city of Greater Buenos Aires, and was destined for the Free Trade Zone of La Plata. Although the equipment was imported from China, the company that issued the invoice is based in Florida, United States.

The authorities are investigating both the people in charge of the American company, as well as those who lead the Argentine importer that carried out this procedure.

The investigators of the case explain that It is a maneuver that consists of avoiding agencies in charge of regulating imports and transferring foreign currency. In this case, importers seek to evade the Comprehensive Import Monitoring System (SIMI).

Among the measures taken by the Argentine Customs in this case, together with its criminal complaint, is blocking transit requests that they have a similar modus operandi between Ezeiza and La Plata Free Zone. The objective pursued with this is to exhaustively analyze each operation.

In addition, it is expected that those involved (whether companies or natural persons) with companies that have made imports under the modality of the reported case will be subject to tax inspections soon.

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