Swedish company holds mining equipment worth $3.8 million as hostage – now the case is settled in court

Swedish company holds mining equipment worth $3.8 million as hostage – now the case is settled in court.

Image source: Shutterstock / Trijo News

Christian Ploog

christian.ploog@trijo.co

A legal dispute about a mining operation has flared up in Malmö in Sweden.

In 2017, an empty room in Malmö’s outer areas was rebuilt into a mining operation full of computer rigs. But after the Malmö company that rented the room was sold to a businessman in Switzerland, problems began, writes Swedish newspaper Kvällsposten.

In 2018, the new owner and the landlord that owns the premises begun a dispute regarding, amongst other things, the electricity supply. The conflict ended with the landlord closing off the electricity to the premises and the company’s lease contract was terminated.

The new owner had, through a Swiss company, placed mining equipment – about 1,100 computer rigs – on the premises. The equipment is expected to be worth approximately SEK 25 million ($2.7 million).

Now, they both legally dispute who has ownership of the equipment.

Investors from Ireland and Germany

In addition, investors from Ireland and Germany claim that they did not receive back 421 computer rigs and other equipment that they had on the premises.

The lawyer Veronika Wasserman represents that group of investors. The Swiss businessman is represented by lawyer Andreas Bérczy.

“He feels cheated”, said Andreas Bérczy in Malmö District Court two weeks ago, according to Kvällsposten.

Equipment worth SEK 35 million

The computer rigs are allegedly still in the possession of the Malmö company, reportedly in a premise outside Vellinge. The reason why investors from Ireland and Germany have not regained their equipment is that the Malmö company believes that the investors owe the company money.

The mining equipment – a total of around 1,500 computer rigs – is estimated to be worth around SEK 35 million ($3.8 million), a value that is constantly decreasing. Also, since the rigs have been unused, investors have also lost a profit. According to their own calculations, it should be about SEK 7 million ($750,000).

“This is a disaster”

None of the investors want to comment on the dispute but says to Kvällsposten that the situation is serious.

“This is a disaster. Individuals risk leaving house and home”, says a person with knowledge of the matter.

The hearing at Malmö District Court two weeks ago was only a so-called oral preparatory hearing. It can, therefore, take a while before the district court comes with a decision on the issue, Kvällsposten writes.

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