The case of the biggest series of thefts in Iceland, known as the “Big Bitcoin Heist” is taking a new step further as the police in Iceland charged seven persons for burglary, conspiracy and theft. The prosecutors are charging the individuals for stealing around 600 computers used to mine bitcoin and other goods worth over $871,000. Additional to that, three different mining firms are suing the suspects for $1.7 million in damages. The stolen computers are evaluated to be worth almost $2 million, and if the mining equipment would have been used to create new bitcoins – the loss of the untraceable currency for the firms would have been incredibly massive.
The mastermind of The Big Bitcoin Heist, Sindri Thor Stefansson was arrested back in April by the police in Amsterdam. He was accused of stealing the missing bitcoin mining equipment in the land of the North Atlantic nation, Iceland. Now Stefansson and the six other suspects are being charged with ten different criminal counts.
On December 5, 2017, The group of seven thief-minded individuals attempted their first robbery stealing 100 mining rigs from company called Algrim Consulting.
The second burglary left the thefts empty-handed, as they set off the alarm system of Borealis Data Center (BDC). According to the police, few days later the group tried to attack to BDC again, but failed. Following to the second attemption, Stefansson and his partners in crime Matthíasi Jóni, Viktori Inga and Peter Stanislav robbed the VK data center located in Borgarnes stealing 28 mining computers.
Later on after the given confidence boost caused by the success in Borgarnes mine, the group went back to BDC. This time, one member of the group made it all the way inside to the facility, but once again – the BDC alarm took the last laugh.
On January 16, 2018, The Iceland prosecutors stated that the group hired three more members to strengthen up their forces, as they we’re planning to rob the Advania mines.
The crew managed to steal total of 225 Bitmain mining rigs with the support of an “inside man” – while reportedly wearing security uniforms during the action. This was the biggest heist of the group – and the longest one, as the burglary took hours.
According to the reports, the security access code and the layout of Advania’s floor plan was given to the group by the “inside man”.
On February 1, 2018, two members of the group were arrested by Iceland police as they had an illegal stun gun and approximately half ounce of cocaine. Following to that, one of the arrested suspects turned on Stefansson and the rest of the gang, giving the police the opportunity to track down each and every one of them.
Stefansson and the rest of the crew are being prosecuted for the completed robberies at Advania mines and Algrim Consulting, and also charged of burglary and conspiracy for the attemptions at BDC. The head of the case, Stefansson is also facing charges for escaping from prison in Iceland. The time frame of this case was during the all-time high of cryptocurrencies on last December, when bitcoin hit the price of $20,000. Needless to say, that the miners did not only lose the equipment, but also the remarkable mining incomes as well.
Photos: Shutterstock/ ReykjavÃk Metropolitan Police
Author: Sarah Tuuli