Iceland Man Receives Prison Sentence For Stealing Mining Equipment

By Rishma Banerjee

As per reports by local English-language news outlet Iceland Monitor, on 17th January, an Icelandic man has received a four-and-a-half-year sentence in prison on accounts of stealing Bitcoin mining equipment. Sindri Þór Stefánsson, along with six accomplices have been awarded substantial jail terms. As per reports, Stefánsson, in April 2018 had boarded a flight to Stockholm from Reykjavik with a stolen passport and was subsequently arrested in Amsterdam and returned home. He then claimed he legally fled custody to Sweden.

The heists took place back in the months of December 2017 and January 2018, and as per reports, the Bitcoin mining equipment that were stolen by Stefánsson and his six co-conspirators was worth 2 million USD. The theft was targeted at a Nordic IT company Advania. The seven defendants now will have to pay the company a compensation worth 33 million Icelandic Krona which is approximately about $273,000.

Amongst the seven, it was Stefánsson who received the longest prison sentence of the group, which comes with the consideration which comes from his argument that he was legally allowed to board the Sweden flight at the time he fled Sogni prison.

After a custody warrant ran out, the judge had a 24-hour window to renew it, but in the interim Stefánsson said he was free to travel.  He, in a statement, said,

“I was forced to sign a paper stating that I was free travel, but if I could, I would stay in a prison room until the extension of custody was approved,” he added in a statement that subsequently appeared in local news publication Fréttablaðið.

Iceland has been the victim of illegal activities with regards to cryptocurrencies, and have also made plans to segue out of the Bitcoin mining industry into “pure blockchain businesses.”

Rishma Banerjee

Rishma is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and has a special place in her life for sifting through all sorts of random trivia, thank you very much.

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