In Brief

Suspect in £1.45m bitcoin theft fled Iceland on PM’s plane

Sindri Thor Stefansson is accused of stealing bitcoin mine computers

An Icelander suspected of being the mastermind behind the biggest theft the tiny country has ever seen has escaped jail and flown to Sweden on the same plane as Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir.

Sindri Thor Stefansson was imprisoned in February, suspected of being behind the theft, dubbed the ‘big bitcoin heist’ by Icelandic media. The tiny nation has been transfixed by the unprecedented crime, in which 600 computers were stolen from a bitcoin ‘mine’.

The owners of the business estimate the computers were worth a total of 200m kronur (£1.45m) and have offered £42,000 as a reward for information leading to their recovery.

Police have arrested 22 people so far, says The Guardian, “without solving the burglaries”.

Stefansson was moved to low-security Sogn prison 11 days ago, where inmates have access to the internet and there are no fences. Police say he climbed out of a window to escape on Tuesday.

Later that day, he flew from Keflavik airport, 59 miles away, using a false identity. He travelled on the same jet as Iceland’s Prime Minister, who was travelling to Stockholm to meet Indian leader Narendra Modi.

An international warrant for Stefansson has been issued, but no arrest has been made in Sweden.

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