The Tocoron prison in Venezuela, which had been under inmate control, was recaptured by the police. Alongside Bitcoin mining hardware, authorities seized dangerous weapons including rocket launchers, explosives, and machine gun ammunition belts.
The operation involved over 11,000 police and soldiers and targeted the Tren de Aragua gang, which had turned the prison into a headquarters featuring a nightclub, swimming pool, zoo, and casino.
President Maduro took to Twitter to congratulate the troops and expressed his goal of building a gang-free Venezuela.
Minister Remigio Ceballos confirmed one soldier’s death during the year-long planned operation and vowed to bring all criminals and accomplices to justice.
The facility’s inmates’ wives or girlfriends were removed, and it was discovered that zoo animals in the prison had died due to fires caused by the prisoners.
Venezuelan mining situation
Mining has gained popularity in Venezuela due to cheap power and high inflation rates, making BTC increasingly popular. Despite the government’s ban on mining activities to address electricity blackouts, observers say mining continues clandestinely.
The discovered mining hardware was identified as older versions of Bitmain’s Antminers. Globally, governments have cracked down on mining operations for climate and energy concerns.