An Icelandic man who was being held in custody in relation to extensive drug smuggling escaped from prison in Reykjavík on Thursday around 5 pm and was on the loose for about 12 hours before he was arrested in the neighboring town of Mosfellsbaer.
The convict is believed to have broken into a storage room in the hallway in the prison where he found a rope and then broke a window and lowered himself down to the street. His escape wasn’t discovered until two hours later, Morgunbladid reports.
There were no security cameras on the hallway, where prisoners can walk around freely, only at the reception. The convict who escaped was the only one there at the time.
The convict was being held in the Reykjavík prison temporarily, and had recently been transferred there from maximum security prison Litla-Hraun, which is located outside the city. He was supposed to be questioned and led before a judge to extend his custody.
The escapee is considered dangerous, because he had earlier been arrested for assault. Although police did not worry that he would threaten witnesses in the drug case while outside the prison walls, they notified those involved.
Police launched an extensive search into the escape, mapping the convict’s every possible step. A man and a women were arrested, suspected of having helped him escape, but were later released.
Later police received information about the convict’s whereabouts in Mosfellsbaer, where one of his acquaintances lives. Two special force agents and two detectives were sent to the scene and found the escapee inside a cupboard where he was hiding.
Director of the Prison Authority in Iceland Páll Winkel said that although “prisoners in custody have been kept in the facilities of the police station [in Reykjavík] before without any problems,” the arrangement of transferring such prisoners from Litla-Hraun to Reykjavík when their custody is being extended needs to be reviewed in light of this escape.
Click here to read more about prison breaks in Iceland.