A prisoner in Iceland suspected of masterminding the theft of about 600 computers that were being used to mine bitcoin and other virtual currencies escaped custody and fled on Tuesday on a passenger plane that a witness said also carried the remote North Atlantic nation's Prime Minister.
Swedish police have confirmed that their Icelandic counterparts warned them that Stefansson had entered their jurisdiction, however, according to the Associated Press, no arrests have been made there.
Police believe Stefansson had outside help making his getaway, although it's unclear to what extent: The Guardian report says it's thought that he traveled under a false passport, but officials told the Telegraph that it was unlikely he had to use a passport at all because he was traveling within the Schengen Zone of the European Union, which doesn't require passports for border crossings.More news: US Says Imprisoned Pastor Andrew Brunson Is Innocent; Turkey Lacks 'Credible Evidence'
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"He had an accomplice", police chief Gunnar Schram told local news outlet Visir. Prison guards allegedly failed to report him missing until after his flight had already left for Sweden. Icelandic media have the case the "Big Bitcoin Heist". Police said that CCTV footage from the airport shows Stefansson boarding a flight to Sweden that was coincidentally also carrying the country's prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir.
They added he boarded the plane with a ticket under another person's name. He was moved to the open prison 10 days ago, police said. He was one of 11 individuals who allegedly stole over $2 million worth of electronic equipment from Icelandic data centers in order to mine cryptocurrencies. The same flight was reportedly carrying Iceland's prime minister, who was heading to Stockholm to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Police have arrested a total of 22 people, including a security guard, in connection with the heist.