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Attempted to Traffic Drugs in Chess Pieces

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Attempted to Traffic Drugs in Chess Pieces

Chess Pieces

Photo: Alan Light/Wikimedia Commons.

An Icelandic man filled chess pieces with amphetamine in an attempt to smuggle the drug into Iceland, Vísir reports. The case has many strange details involving the Icelandic Chess Association, a paralysed wife, and suspected tax evasion.

Police believe Sigurður Ragnar Kristinsson is the main player behind an attempt to smuggle 5 kilos of amphetamine into Iceland from Spain. Sigurður was released from custody on Friday but has been sentenced to a four-week travel ban.

The potency of the amphetamine is being analysed in Spain, where it was discovered and seized. Authorities replaced the drug with a harmless substance and sent the package to the intended address in order to find the culprit behind the crime.

On 8. January, Icelandic police arrested Gunnar Björnsson, the president of the Icelandic Chess Association, as he received the package. “I had barely started to open the package when a special forces man appears with a balaclava and the whole getup, he maybe didn’t attack me but pushed me up against the wall and held me there,” said Gunnar, describing the incident. Gunnar was released shortly thereafter as it was clear he was not connected to the case in any way.

Sigurður flew to Iceland on 28. January and was arrested upon arrival. He admitted readily to organizing the trafficking of drugs into the country. Sigurður has stated he himself put the substance in the chess pieces, a process he claims took four hours.

To add another layer to the case, Sigurður’s wife Sunna Elvíra Þorkelsdóttir was paralysed by a fall at their home in Malaga, Spain just before Sigurður flew to Iceland. He was arrested in Spain on suspicion of causing the injury, but released shortly after. Sunna says she has no memory of how the injury occurred.

Sigurður is also charged in a separate case for major tax evasion in the management of company SS verks ehf. The charge is against Sigurður as well as his mother in law (Sunna’s mother) and Armando Luis Rodriguez. The tax the three owe amounts to nearly ISK 105 million (USD 1m/EUR 850,000).

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