Title Title
Alleged "Big Bitcoin Heist" mastermind arrested in Amsterdam Alleged "Big Bitcoin Heist" mastermind arrested in Amsterdam
Summary Summary
Sindri Thor Stefansson, who had escaped prison in Iceland, is suspected of stealing two million dollars' worth of equipment. Sindri Thor Stefansson, who had escaped prison in Iceland, is suspected of stealing two million dollars' worth of equipment.
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<strong>Amsterdam police have arrested an Icelandic fugitive accused of orchestrating a large-scale computer heist to mine BitCoins.</strong>  <strong>An Icelandic fugitive accused of orchestrating a large-scale computer hardware heist was arrested in Amsterdam last night.</strong>
<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">Sindri Thor Stefansson</a> was previously arrested in Iceland <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">on suspicion of</a> masterminding the theft of six hundred computers.  
The computers were stolen in a series of four raids on data centres across the southern part of the country in February, which local media dubbed <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43288495">"the Big Bitcoin Heist"</a>. The hardware, still missing at the time of writing, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">are worth $2 million.</a> <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">Sindri Thor Stefansson</a> had been previously arrested in Iceland on <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">suspicion of masterminding the organized theft of six hundred computers, to be used for the "mining" of cryptocurrency BitCoin.</a>
In an interview with <em><a href="https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/hundreds-of-computers-stolen-in-the-big-bitcoin-heist-1.709607">The Associated Press</a>, </em>local police commissioner Olafur Kjartansson described the raid as "a grand theft on a scale unseen before" in Iceland.  
"Mining" is <a href="https://www.coindesk.com/information/how-bitcoin-mining-works/">the method by which</a> new, unique and single-use units of the cryptocurrency are brought into online circulation.  "Mining" is the method by which <a href="https://www.coindesk.com/information/how-bitcoin-mining-works/">new, unique and single-use units of the cryptocurrency</a> are brought into online circulation.
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  The computers were stolen in a series of<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582"> four co-ordinated raids on data centres across southern Iceland this February</a>, which the local Icelandic media dubbed <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43288495">"the Big Bitcoin Heist"</a>. In an interview with <em><a href="https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/hundreds-of-computers-stolen-in-the-big-bitcoin-heist-1.709607">The National</a>, </em>local police comissioner Olafur Kjartansson described it as "a grand theft on a scale unseen before" in Iceland.
Stefansson was <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">one of 11 people arrested</a> in connection with the thefts after HS Orka, an energy company, said it was seeing an "exponential" rise in the amount of energy being used in data centers to mine and verify crypto-currency transactions. The island's cool climate and emphasis<span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;"> on renewable energy make it a </span><a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">desirable location for data </a><a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">centres. </a>The computers, still missing at the time of writing, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">are worth $2 million.</a>
Stefansson, who was not considered a dangerous inmate, was transferred to a a minimum-security facility called Sogn Prison. He escaped ten days after his arrival by climbing out of a window. According to local media, Stefansson took a taxi to Keflavik International Airport, where he boarded a Sweden-bound plane under an assumed name.  
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  Stefansson, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">one of 11 people arrested in connection with the thefts,</a> was not considered a dangerous inmate, and<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582"> had been transferred</a> to Sogn Prison, a minimum-security facility <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">reportedly with no fences and internet access for inmates,</a> ten days before his escape.
  He escaped <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">by climbing out of a window on April 18</a>,  and <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">took a taxi 95 kilomteres to Keflavik International Airport,</a> where he <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">boarded a Sweden-bound plane under a fake name.</a>
Icelandic Prime Minister<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katr%C3%ADn_Jakobsd%C3%B3ttir"> Katrin Jakobsdottir</a> was on the same flight, on a <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43799281">diplomatic mission</a> to Sweden where she met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She has <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43799281">not commented</a> on Stefansson's escape.  On the same flight was Icelandic Prime Minister<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katr%C3%ADn_Jakobsd%C3%B3ttir"> Katrin Jakobsdottir</a>, on a <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43799281">diplomatic mission to Sweden, where she met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. </a>She has <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43799281">so far not commented</a> on Stefansson's escape.
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  <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en">
  <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Prime Ministers <a href="https://twitter.com/narendramodi?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@narendramodi</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/katrinjak?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@katrinjak</a> reviewed the full range of India-Iceland relations during their meeting today. <a href="https://t.co/kSOJL924KB">pic.twitter.com/kSOJL924KB</a></p>
  — PMO India (@PMOIndia) <a href="https://twitter.com/PMOIndia/status/986266711363072001?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 17, 2018</a></blockquote>
  <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
  Stefansson <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">published a letter from abroad</a> on April 20 claiming that there was only <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">'suspicion'</a> linking him to the crime. He also claims that his <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43838582">custody period in Iceland had expired when he fled the prison, he was told he was free to leave, and that he himself would be "back soon". </a>
Stefansson was arrested in Amsterdam five days after his arrival from Iceland, on an international warrant <em>(<a href="https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2018/04/23/escaped_bitcoin_heist_prisoner_arrested_in_amsterda/">Iceland Monitor</a>).</em>  He was subsequently arrested in Amsterdam last night, five days after his initial escape, on an international warrant <em>(<a href="https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2018/04/23/escaped_bitcoin_heist_prisoner_arrested_in_amsterda/">Iceland Monitor</a>).</em>
  According to the <em>Iceland Monitor,</em> Hafthor Logi Hlynsson, a friend of Stefansson, had<a href="https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2018/04/23/escaped_bitcoin_heist_prisoner_arrested_in_amsterda/"> posted an Instagram photo with him in Amsterdam</a> the day of his arrest. The picture featured the hashtag #teamsindri, which had been trending on Icelandic twitter after his escape.
  <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en">
  <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Quite surreal watching <a href="https://twitter.com/msnbcLockup?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@msnbcLockup</a> from Iceland - a country that follows it's convicts on Instagram as they travel through Europe <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/teamsindri?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#teamsindri</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bitcoinbandit?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bitcoinbandit</a></p>
  — Helgi Steinar (@helgistones) <a href="https://twitter.com/helgistones/status/988254786205167618?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 23, 2018</a></blockquote>
  <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
  <a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;" href="https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2018/04/23/escaped_bitcoin_heist_prisoner_arrested_in_amsterda/">Dutch police have not yet confirmed whether this post was what led to his capture</a><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">.</span>
<a href="https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2018/04/23/stefansson_to_return_to_iceland_within_next_few_day/">According to his lawyer,</a> he will return to Iceland to face trial within the next few days.  <a href="https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2018/04/23/stefansson_to_return_to_iceland_within_next_few_day/">According to his lawyer,</a> Stefansson will return to Iceland to face trial within the next few days.
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Crime Cryptocurrencies, Europe, Iceland, Netherlands, Technology, Crime
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