Icelandic Bitcoin Mining Hardware Thief Escapes From Prison, Flees on PM’s Flight
Sindri Thor Stefansson, the suspected mastermind of a heist that stole 600 crypto mining computers, reportedly escaped from a minimum security prison in Iceland before boarding a plane to Sweden that was inadvertently carrying Iceland’s prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir. According to the BBC, Stefansson escaped from prison through a window and purchased a ticket for a passenger plane under a false identity.
The investigation into the theft, which the media dubbed the “big bitcoin heist,” led to 11 arrests in February, including Stefansson. The group allegedly stole 600 computers worth $2 million during four raids on data centers around Iceland. Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, the police commissioner of the region where two robberies took place, has said, “Everything points to this being a highly organized crime.”
According to Icelandic-language news site Visir, Stefansson was “not considered dangerous or likely to flee,” and was transferred to Sogn open prison in rural southern Iceland where he was unfenced and had access to phones and the internet.
While the details of his escape are still unclear, Stefansson traveled 60 miles to Keflavik’s international airport where he boarded a flight to Arlanda airport north of Stockholm, Sweden. The guards reportedly did not alert the police to the escape until after the flight had departed.
An international warrant has been issued for Stefansson’s arrest and Swedish police are now involved in the search along with the Icelandic authorities. The stolen crypto mining hardware has yet to be recovered.