Police in Iceland charged seven individuals for conspiracy, burglary, and theft for stealing from the region’s mining facilities. Iceland prosecutors are charging the suspects with over $871,000 in stolen goods, but the group of individuals are also being sued for $1.7 million in damages from three separate mining firms.
After Several Failed Attempts Thieves Rob Icelandic Bitcoin Mines — Scoring a Bunch of Mining Rigs
Back in April Amsterdam police arrested a man named Sindri Thor Stefansson for his connection with stealing millions of dollars worth of bitcoin mining equipment in Iceland. Now according to a translated report of court documents stemming from Iceland prosecutors, Stefansson and six other individuals are being charged with ten criminal counts. The seven people will be charged with possession of weapons, cocaine, and theft of over $2 million USD worth of mining computers and equipment. Court documents given to Modern Consensus explain that Iceland officials are accusing the gang of $871,819 in stolen gear and the indictment will be followed by a trial that will go before a group of judges. Furthermore, law firms representing three separate mining facilities are suing the group for $1.7 million in a different case.
Stefansson and his gang were allegedly relentlessly trying to rob prominent bitcoin mines since the group’s first heist on December 5, 2017, when they stole 100 mining rigs from Algrim Consulting. The burglars then tried to steal from Borealis Data Center (BDC) mines, but failed that night because they set off an alarm. According to police in Iceland, the crew attacked BDC Mines in Ásbrú again a couple days later but were unsuccessful. Following the BDC attempts, Stefansson, Viktori Inga, Peter Stanislav, and Matthíasi Jóni robbed the VK data center in Borgarnes and made off with 28 Bitmain Antminers. After the successful score at the Borgarnes mine, the crew attempts to rob BDC again the day after Christmas, and one of the suspects managed to make it inside the facility. However, once again the BDC alarms scare the gang of thieves away.
Advania Mines: The Biggest Heist
According to the documents obtained by Modern Consensus columnist Brendan Sullivan, Iceland prosecutors say on January 16, 2018, the four men hired three more individuals in order to rob the Advania mines. The crew was able to steal 225 fully functional Bitmain mining rigs with the help from an ‘inside man’ and allegedly wore security uniforms. This particular heist was the crew’s biggest and the robbery reportedly took hours.
Reports state the ‘inside man’ gave the thieves a security access code and a layout of Advania’s floor plan. Iceland police arrested two members of the gang on February 1, 2018, with an illegal stun gun and more than a half ounce of cocaine. From that point, one of the suspects purportedly turned on Stefansson and his gang, so the police were able to track down each member of the group following the first two arrests.
An “Icelandic legal expert” familiar with the case explained that the prosecutors are working together with the private law firms hired by the miners. Stefansson and crew are being prosecuted for the successful robberies at Algrim Consulting, and Advania mines but also face burglary and conspiracy charges for the BDC attempts. Stefansson also faces charges for escaping from a “low-security” correctional facility in Iceland after being arrested again in Amsterdam. What’s interesting about this story is the time frame of all the heists was during the time when cryptocurrencies peaked at all-time price highs. This means the miners not only lost equipment, but significant mining revenue as well. The ‘Big Bitcoin Heist’ further confirms that bitcoin miners need to keep data facilities secure and maintain a tight ship. Because a robbery of a few hundred machines will cost a bitcoin mining operation a ton of money.
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