Björgólfur Thor Still With Diplomatic Passport? - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Björgólfur Thor Still With Diplomatic Passport?

Published August 23, 2011

Icelandic tycoon Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson could still be in possession of what amounts to a diplomatic passport, according to a source close to radio station Útvarp Saga.
Many know “Iceland’s first billionaire” as the man behind Landsbanki and Straumur, two companies whose subsequent financial failures in the fall of 2008 saddled the country with a tremendous debt. As such, he is less than Iceland’s most popular person.
Radio station Útvarp Saga reports that a source close to them has said that Björgólfur has a “service passport” from the Icelandic government that is essentially equivalent to a diplomatic passport.
From 1999 to 2006, Björgólfur was a special envoy to Russia. He received this passport in 2003, before beginning his own his business ventures in the east, and it was renewed in 2007.
There is no explanation as to why then Foreign Minister Valgerður Sverrisdóttir renewed his diplomatic passport when he had ceased to be an envoy the year before.
One of the advantages of such a passport is that the bearer can circumvent customs, travelling with impunity without having any of their baggage checked.
Spokespeople for Björgólfur were unreachable for comment.

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