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Suspect in Iceland Bitcoin mining robbery breaks out of jail, escapes land



Iceland's biggest crime thrillers in the years took only one big turn.

The alleged mastermind of stealing $ 2 million in computers destroying Bitcoin escaped from a security prison on Tuesday – apparently flying a plane carrying the Icelandic prime minister out of the country

Sindri Thor Stefansson escaped the BBC on Tuesday night through a window in Sogn prison and caught a flight from nearby Keflavik airport to Sweden. Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir was reported to be on the same flight to Stockholm for a meeting with India's Prime Minister and other Nordic leaders. Stefansson's escape was not noticed until the flight was in the air. There is now an international arrest warrant.

Stefansson and ten others were arrested in February in connection with the theft of some 600 high-performance computers used to recover Bitcoin from data centers in Iceland. The island has become a hub for energy-hungry Bitcoin mining because of its abundant and cheap renewable energy ̵

1; so much so that bitcoin mining has outpaced domestic energy use and threatens to exceed the country's electricity capacity.

The stolen computers have not found it yet. Even with the price of Bitcoin

BTCUSD, -0.39%

to $ 8,152 – less than half of its high at the end of last year – the computers could be a true gold mine.

At the time of the thefts Icelandic The police said the crime was highly organized and the authorities said Wednesday that Stefansson had had at least one accomplice in his prison break who apparently had given him a plane ticket with a different name.

Iceland has very little crime and extent of robbery was almost unprecedented. The prison had no fence, and detainees were allowed to use phones and the Internet, the Guardian reported.

"Prison breaks in Iceland usually mean someone just escaped to get drunk," Helgi Gunnlaugsson, a sociology professor at the University of Iceland, told The Guardian. "The underworlds are tiny and it's extremely difficult to hide, let alone leave the country."


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