Since the beginning of 2023, 26 illegal mining farms have been identified in Uzbekistan, the press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office reported.
As per the department, as a result of their actions, 29mn kWh of electricity was stolen, which is equivalent to the monthly consumption of 145,00 households. Damage to the state is estimated at UZS 58.2bn ($4.7mn).
Criminal cases were initiated against 29 people under Article 169 (theft) of the Criminal Code. They face 8 to 15 years in prison.
The Prosecutor General's Office warned that for the creation of illegal mining farms and theft of electricity on an especially large scale, a criminal case may be initiated under paragraph “a” of Part 4 of Article 169 (theft on an especially large scale / punishable by imprisonment from 8 to 15 years).
Notably, when using electricity with a connection to a unified electric power system, miners must pay for electricity at a tariff with a 2-fold increasing factor, and when connecting to the network illegally - with a 5-fold increasing factor.
For electricity consumption during the peak period, surcharges are applied to tariffs established by the Cabinet of Ministers.