Iceland's Bitcoin heist suspect 'flees on PM's plane'


The suspected mastermind of Iceland's "big bitcoin heist" reportedly escaped from prison and fled the country - on a plane that was also carrying the prime minister.

Swedish police spokesman Stefan Dangardt said no arrest had been made in Sweden but Icelandic police had briefed them on the situation and issued an global arrest warrant.

Sindri Thor Stefansson escaped through a window of the low-security Sogn prison in rural southern Iceland before boarding a flight to Sweden at the global airport in Keflavik located 59 miles from the prison on Tuesday.

Although Iceland is not part of the European Union, the visa-less travel to its citizens is permitted in the Nordic region as Reykjavik is part of the Schengen Zone.

Stefansson is one of a group of suspects in a crippling heist in which 600 computers worth millions of dollars and used for mining bitcoin and altcoins were stolen.

"He had an accomplice", police chief Gunnar Schram told local news outlet Visir.

The escaped prisoner was being held at the Sogn prison in rural southern Iceland, located some 95 kilometers from the airport.

Iceland has become something of a haven for bitcoin mining due to its abundance of renewable energy which is ideal for supplying the massive amounts of electricity needed to mine cryptocurrencies.

Mr Stefansson had been in custody since February.

The stolen equipment, which is still missing, had been valued at nearly $US2 million ($2.5 million).

He was later identified on security footage from Keflavik Airport, and seen boarding the flight to Stockholm where Iceland's prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir, was another passenger.

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.

Inmates at the prison, which has no fencing, have access to phones and internet.

"Prison breaks in Iceland usually mean someone just fled to get drunk", he said.