REYKJAVIK (Reuters) – An Icelander arrested on suspicion of stealing about 600 computers to steal the cryptocurrency Bitcoin escaped the jail and fled to Sweden on a commercial flight, the Icelandic state broadcaster RUV said Wednesday.
The same Icelandair flight also brought Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir to a meeting Indians Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Stockholm, RUV reported, without mentioning its sources.
The refugee was among 11 people arrested on 2 February on suspicion of having taken computers worth an estimated 200 million Icelandic kroner (2 million dollars), the Icelandic police said. No criminal case in Iceland has ever involved large sums of money.
RUV quoted Pall Winkel, director of the Icelandic Prison and Probation Authority, as saying that the man fled an open prison with a minimum security on Tuesday morning and had taken the flight from Icelandair to Stockholm that same morning.
It was said that the suspect was released and the Icelandic police had asked their Swedish colleagues for help in the arrest.
"The Swedish police, as well as other European countries, have been informed by Iceland about a detained man who has fled," said Malin Nafver, the spokeswoman for the Swedish National Police, and declined to comment further.
Officials of the Icelandic Prison and Probation Authority could not be reached for comment.
The stolen computers were specially programmed to mine Bitcoin. The police still have to locate the computers.
Reporting by Elias Thorson in Reykjavik and Anna Ringstrom in Stockholm; Arrangement by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Mark Heinrich