In Iceland, a Prison-Break Story With a Twist

Sindri Thor Stefansson fled prison, made it 59 miles to the airport
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2018 9:53 AM CDT
How Iceland's PM Ended Up on a Plane With a Fugitive
This Oct. 15, 2014 photo made available by The Reykjav?k Metropolitan Police shows Sindri Thor Stefansson.   (The Reykjav?k Metropolitan Police via AP)

It's a prison-break story with a twist: Officials in Iceland say a man suspected of stealing $2 million worth of computer servers used to mine bitcoin broke out of the low-security prison he was being kept in and fled to Sweden on a commercial plane using someone else's passport. But it wasn't just any plane: Iceland's Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir happened to be on it, reports the BBC. That Sindri Thor Stefansson managed to flee isn't entirely shocking: The Sogn open prison, which is located about 60 miles from the Keflavik airport, has no fences. The Iceland Monitor reports that those who attempt to escape it are moved to another prison and see their parole impacted.

"He had an accomplice. We are sure of that," says police chief Gunnar Schram, per the Guardian. Inmates at Sogn also have access to phone and the internet. Guards reportedly didn't realize Stefansson was gone until after the flight had departed early Tuesday morning. The Guardian reports Stefansson was one of a number of people arrested in connection with the "big bitcoin heist," which occurred over a series of four thefts and is believed to be the biggest overall theft to occur in Iceland. An international warrant is out for his arrest. (More Iceland stories.)

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