'Big bitcoin heist' suspect escapes prison and flees Iceland 'on PM's plane'

Bitcoin heist suspect escapes from prison in Iceland and flees to Sweden on Prime Minister's plane

'Big bitcoin heist' suspect escapes prison and flees Iceland 'on PM's plane'

But in an alarming twist, her flight is thought to have been carrying Sindri Thor Stefansson, the chief suspect in the theft of around 600 computers that has become known as Iceland's "Big Bitcoin Heist". But it seems no bars can hold the mastermind, as he has found his way out not only of a prison, but also out of the country.

Sindri Thor Stefansson escaped the low-security prison through a window and fled to Sweden on a passenger plane that was also carrying Iceland's prime minister, local media report. "We are sure of that".

An global warrant has been issued for Mr Stefansson's arrest and Swedish police are now involved in the search.

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Ten days before his escape he had been transferred to Sogn open prison in rural southern Iceland, some 95km (59 miles) from Keflavik's global airport.

An global arrest warrant has been issued for the Stefansson. At the current prison, inmates are not restricted by fences and have access to amenities like Wi-Fi and phone service.

The machines were valued at $2 million and are still missing despite 11 people being arrested in February.

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Blessed with an abundance of renewable energy, Iceland has emerged as a popular base for large virtual currency companies that use massive amounts of electricity running the computers that create bitcoins. Jakobsdottir was travelling to Stockholm for a meeting of Nordic leaders and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Police commissioner Olafur Helgi Kjartansson told The Associated Press in March it was "a grand theft on a scale unseen before".

Owners of the stolen computers have, in a rare public outreach, promised a $60,000 reward to anyone who can lead detectives to the stolen computers.

A professor at the University of Iceland told the LA Times that the "unusual" decision to keep a high-profile suspected criminal like Stefansson at a prison of this nature was rivaled only by "his organized escape".

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