Headline May 15, 2018/ ''' HEISTS NO HIGHS '''


*SUPER ICELAND'S* - legal and prison system stands up and tall by Sindri Stefansson, a 31 year -old man with a rap sheet that includes -

Drug possession and burglary - after he predictably brings the law enforcement agencies to a boil.

It has been more than five months since thieves pulled off the biggest heist in the history of Iceland, and the police here still have no idea where the booty - roughly $2 million worth of Bitcoin-mining computers - is safely stashed.

Suspect who was detained for questioning just and simply, walked away from Iceland prison. So here, then, is a brief life on the run in Bitcoin heist.

Sindri Steffansson escaped from a low security Icelander prison, Sogn, where inmates have their own rooms and can talk on their cellphones.........

The warehouses look like hangars, though instead of containing jets these are densely packed with  computers, numbered and neatly arranged on shelves.

Giant fans hum noiselessly overhead.

''If you spent a day here, you would probably go deaf,'' shouted Mia Molnar of Genesis Mining, which is based in  Hong Kong  and mines coins for Ethereum, a  Bitcoin rival.

SHE WAS  giving a tour of Genesis warehouse and later, in a far quieter room, offered her best shot at explaining what all those computers are doing.

The simplified version :

They are engaged in a nonstop, worldwide race to process new transactions using cryptocurrencies, digital tokens that can be traded electronically.

The task requires ever more powerful computers and equipment. Success is rewarded, digitally and automatically with a small batch of new coins.

Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been viewed warily by some governments and criticized by environmentalists for hovering up vast and increasing amounts of electricity.

Genesis and and its competitors, on the other hand, see a financial opportunity, one that has sent the value of their mining equipment soaring.

''I think a lot of companies have been more worried about hacks,'' Ms. Molnar said. ''Less about the hardware.''

The warehouse adjacent to Genesis is the one that was robbed. the lessee of that building that appears to be under construction, has not been publicly identified.

Through the police, the company has offered $60,000 to anyone who leads detectives to the stolen property.

At the same time, the police have been searching for the machines by studying the electrical grid for surges in use.

So far, said Mr. Kjattansson, the police investigator, the search has been totally fruitless.

His hunch, based on the sophistication of the theft, is that the perpetrators worked with an overseas syndicate of organized crime.

Nothing in Mr. Stefansson's long record indicates international links of any kind.

He has been convicted of possessing drugs and driving under the influence, and the grandest of his larcenies has been is the $2,000 he stole from the slot machines in a Reykjavik bar.

He said in the interview that he had been sober for more than seven years and made apps and websites for a living. He minimized a recent arrest for growing marijuana as a ''side business''

When he was arrested for the Bitcoin robbery, Mr. Stefensson said, he was two days away from restarting his life and moving to Spain with his wife and three children.

If Mr. Stefansson is ultimately charged with any heist-related crimes, his prison break won't be one of them.

In Ireland it is not against the law to escape from prison.

''Our system supposes that a person who has been deprived of his freedom will try to regain it,'' said Jon Gunnlaugsson, a former Judge of Iceland's Supreme Court. ''It's the responsibilities of prison authorities to keep his there.''

Further, it is unclear whether the police had the right to continue holding Mr. Stefansson in the first place.

He was not under arrest at the time because a judge's order to keep him in custody had expired hours before his escape.

In advance of a hearing to extend the custody order, the police persuaded Mr. Stefansson to stay in prison voluntarily.

He immediately decided the agreement was bogus.

In an open letter published in an Icelandic newspaper while he was on the lam, he wrote that he was genuinely surprised to find himself the subject of a manhunt.

Paradoxically, returning to the very place he was so eager to leave became one of Mr. Stefansson's primary goals.

At the prison near Amsterdam, he said, he was just a name and number, underfed and wary of his fellow inmates.

By comparison, he said, ''Icelandic prisons are a hotel.''

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all  ''register'' on !WOW! - The World Students Society and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Brands & Burns '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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