Group detained in Ukraine for alleged coal theft from train

Another case of illegal acting against Ukrainian Railways was exposed. A few days ago, a group of thirty people between 16 and 40 years old was detained at the Kurakhivka station by police officers under the suspicion of stealing coal from freight cars.

The incident seems to have occurred in late 2021 at the same station. Back then, the territorial Department of the Office of the Director for Economic and Information Security of Ukrainian Railways informed law enforcement officers about the robbery. However, the group of alleged thieves was located and arrested a few weeks later. The Ukrainian national police are carrying out further investigations on the issue while the group of detained people faces the possibility of imprisonment up to eight years.

Caught on the spot

The detained group under the suspicion of stealing cargo was caught on the spot at Kurakhivka station carrying 190 plastic bags containing coal. “In addition, 1,190 bags of solid fuel were found and seized in a warehouse near the railway tracks,” reported the Ukrainian Railways. Nevertheless, the initial investigation at the robbed freight train found 61 tonnes of coal missing. Consequently, further research is needed to locate the remaining theft spoils.

Consecutive illegal acts

A few days ago, Ukrainian Railways had to face another illegal incident. This time, they had to deal with electricity theft by crypto miners. Specifically, A cryptocurrency mining farm was discovered in Odesa that illegally used electricity from Ukrainian Railways. The police investigation found more than 100 computer units, equipment for cryptocurrency mining, and documentation with evidence of illegal activity which it seized. The amount of losses for the Ukrainian Railways due to the cryptocurrency mining centre is yet to be established after the investigations.

Moreover, it is not the first time electricity from rail has been illegally used for crypto mining in Ukraine. In 2019, a cryptocurrency mining farm was discovered in one of the divisions of the Lviv Railway, a territorial branch company of Ukrainian Railways. The company’s electricity was also used illegally to mine cryptocurrencies.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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