Iceland’s “Big Bitcoin Heist” Suspect Arrested in Amsterdambr>
The alleged mastermind behind Iceland’s “Big Bitcoin Heist,” who escaped from prison and fled to Sweden last week, has been arrested in Amsterdam.
Police spokesperson Rob van der Veen said that Sindri Thor Stefansson, who is suspected of masterminding the theft of 600 bitcoin mining computers worth approximately $2 million, was arrested Sunday night near the city center. Stefansson made worldwide headlines after he reportedly traveled by plane to Sweden on the same flight as Iceland’s prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir.
Þorgils Þorgilsson, Stefansson’s lawyer, said Stefansson will be returning to Iceland in the next few days. The lawyer said he doesn’t know whether Stefánsson gave himself up to police or whether he was arrested in the street. He doesn’t know whether the Instagram photo with the hashtag #teamsindri taken in Amsterdam gave him up or not.
In a letter sent to Icelandic newspaper Frettabladid last week, Stefansson said he was not serving a sentence in Iceland and that his period of custody had run out. He said that he was “free to travel” after the judge’s ruling expired on April 16.
“I’m not trying to say that it was the right decision to leave, I really regret it… I didn’t expect an international arrest warrant to be issued against me, as I was legally free to leave, and believed it was out of the question that I would be labelled a fugitive,” Stefansson said. “I would never have done this if I didn’t believe I was a free man.”
Stefansson said that he simply refused to be in prison of his own will, especially when the police threatened to arrest him without explanation.
“I have been in custody for two and a half months unsuccessfully, without evidence, but only because of police suspicion,” he said. “That’s what I’m angry about. I have not seen published a single testimony and I was threatened and threatened with longer isolation while isolation took place.”
Stefansson added that he would take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.