Five Strange Facts About That Icelandic Fugitive You've Been Hearing About - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Five Strange Facts About That Icelandic Fugitive You’ve Been Hearing About

Published April 18, 2018

Photo by
Satellite image of Sogn Prison

There’s a few details about the story of Sindri Þór Stefánsson, the guy who escaped prison in Iceland and flew to Sweden, that add layers of new weirdness to the tale. This story is fast-moving and still developing, but here are just a few of the details that have arisen:

1. What he was in jail for. Sindri was not actually serving a sentence. Rather, he was in custody, having been suspected of taking part in the theft of roughly 600 computers last winter which were being used to mine cryptocurrency. The computers themselves were valued at almost 2 million USD, let alone the value of the cryptocurrency already mined. It was arguably the biggest heist in Icelandic history.

2. He didn’t technically “break out” of prison. The phrase “escaped from prison” might evoke exciting images of digging tunnels with shovels made in metal shop, but “breaking out” of Sogn Prison does not actually require a lot of planning. As can be seen in this photo, the “prison” in question looks like little more than a small apartment building. The fact is, Sindri probably left the building by an open window and simply walked away from the property – there is no fence around the Sogn.

3. He didn’t need a complicated escape plan to leave the country. People do occasionally break out of prison in Iceland, but they usually do not get very far, on account of it being an island nation with an unforgiving wilderness. Sindri didn’t use a fake passport or a clever disguise to board a plane for Sweden; instead, he reportedly simply gave a false name and got on board. Scandinavians don’t actually need a passport to fly between other Scandinavian countries. He could have been turned away at the gate, but apparently he was able to charm his way on board.

4. His wife is reportedly a pilot. Numerous people are currently being questioned in this case, and police have reason to believe Sindri had some help getting out of the country. DV reports that his wife, who lives abroad, recently finished her schooling and training to be an airline pilot. For the record, though, there is no known connection between his escape and his wife’s job. It’s just a coincidence.

5. Iceland’s Prime Minister was on board the same flight. Speaking of coincidences, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir was on the same flight as Sindri, flying coach class to Sweden. Why was she going to Sweden? Kvennablaðið reports that Katrín is helping convince India to buy some 100 fighter jets from SAAB. Yes, that is the same company that used to make those ugly-ass cars, and is now more concerned with military manufacturing.

Sindri is still at large, and he may have even left Sweden by now. We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.

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