Bitcoin Thief Breaks Out of Iceland Prison and Catches Flight to Sweden on the Prime Minister's Plane

A man in Iceland escaped from prison and took a flight to Sweden on a plane allegedly carrying Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir before anyone realized that he was missing, according to reports.

Sindri Thor Stefansson, a man accused of stealing around 600 computers to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, has broken out of prison in Iceland and is believed to have taken a plane to Sweden, according to law enforcement officials in both countries.

Stefansson is believed to have escaped the prison by leaving from a window and to have boarded a flight at Iceland's Keflavik international airport. Prison guards allegedly failed to report him missing until after his flight had already left for Sweden. The same flight was reportedly carrying Iceland's prime minister, who was heading to Stockholm to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He allegedly boarded using a ticket and passport with a false name. Icelandic police have reportedly briefed their Swedish counterparts on the case and issued a warrant for Stefansson's arrest. He is not yet in custody, however.

The prison where Stefansson was staying was a low-security facility in Sogn, a rural municipality in Western Iceland. The prison has no fences, and inmates are permitted to use the Internet and telephones.

Stefansson has been in prison since February for being the mastermind of what Icelandic media has called the "big bitcoin heist." 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 computers were never discovered.

Iceland has become a hub for bitcoin mining over the past several years because the country's volcanoes provide a cheap and reliable source of renewable energy that makes cryptocurrency mining, an activity that requires an extremely high output of electricity, less expensive.