Argentina's customs authority is reportedly investigating an alleged scheme involving a Florida-registered company said to have overvalued 2,223 crypto mining machines imported into the country.
According to a report in the local economic publication Ámbito, authorities have seized the imported machines including Whatsminer M30S models, among others. The machines reportedly entered the country at Buenos Aires' Ezeiza International Airport, and were destined for a special tax zone in La Plata, Argentina without having obtained the required approvals.
According to the news report, customs authorities found that the machines were declared as having an average price of $10,000. However, their investigation determined that the machines' real value is between $5,770 and $7,420, while their market value is slightly higher at between $6,316 and $7,700.
Therefore, Ámbito reported that the importer would have overvalued the machines by about $5 million, with the caveat that the final number requires calculating each machine's mining power.
The company involved in importing the mining machines is an LLC based in Florida, Ámbito reported. The machines were imported from China, the article said, but invoiced by that U.S. entity. Authorities are reportedly investigating the links between one of the people working at the LLC as well as another individual.
"We must take care of dollars for production and job creation, not for financial speculation," Argentina's director general of customs Guillermo Michel was quoted as saying in the news article.
Authorities filed a complaint against the involved parties on June 23, the news article said.
This report and its headline have been updated for clarity.