Reykjavík capital area police have acknowledged that valuables seized during a house search around four years ago have disappeared from their shelves, RÚV reports. The valuables are connected to an investigation into the “champagne club” Strawberries, which was raided by police in 2013. Police have since acknowledged that correct procedure was not followed in storing the items.
Strawberries owner Viðar Már Friðfinnsson’s lawyer claims the seized property, which includes jewellery and Rolex watches, is worth millions in Icelandic krónur and believes it has been stolen.
Strawberries was raided by police in 2013 due to a suspicion of prostitution and other illegal activities on the premises. Following the raid, police seized real estate, cars, cash, and other valuables from Viðar’s home.
Víðar was later only accused of violating tax law and sentenced to 12 months probation. The sentence has been appealed to the Land’s Court.
Páll Kristjánsson, Viðar’s lawyer, claims to have realized something strange had happened when the prosecutor proposed a modified version of the charge, no longer requiring the seized valuables to be confiscated by the national treasury. He had not been informed the prosecutor had discovered the valuables had disappeared upon requested the police to estimate their value. Páll then requested all information related to the case from the police and subsequently sued for theft.
An investigation made by the district prosecutor yielded no results and was dropped. District prosecutor Ólafur Þór Hauksson told Fréttablaðið yesterday that the result of the investigation is not good enough, adding that it is problematic to not know how the valuables disappeared or whether the disappearance is a result of criminal activity.
Police released a statement acknowledging that “exact procedure for storing objects was not followed and thus it was not possible to confirm what had become of the objects.” As a consequence of the case, police employees have been reminded to comply with procedure related to item storage.
Viðar’s lawyer Páll believes anything other than theft is unlikely to have happened to the objects. “It is totally clear that there is some cop with these Rolex watches. That’s a nice bonus for him,” he stated.