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Iceland Bitcoin-mining Heist Mastermind Breaks Jail


The suspected mastermind behind the theft of $2 million worth of bitcoin mining equipment has escaped an Icelandic prison, and reportedly fled to Sweden on a plane that was also carrying Iceland's Prime Minister.

Sindri Thor Stefansson escaped from a minimum-security prison Tuesday, Icelandic media reported.

He boarded the flight from the international airport in Keflavik using a ticket under someone else's name. Flying within Europe's Schengen travel zone is passport-free.

He was not noticed until the flight was in the air. An international warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir was on her way to Sweden to take part in a meeting between five Nordic prime ministers and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Stefansson and 10 others were arrested in February suspected of involvement in what was dubbed by local media as the "Big Bitcoin Heist".

In four separate heists, 600 bitcoin mining computers from data centers around Iceland were stolen and have yet to be found.

At the time of the thefts, Icelandic police said Stefansson was suspected to be the kingpin of the apparent highly organized crime.

Stefansson was transferred to Sogn open prison in rural southern Iceland earlier this month.

It has no fences, and inmates are allowed access to phones and the Internet.

Iceland has become an attractive place for bitcoin miners because power is generated from renewable sources, making electricity costs lower.

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