A 29-year-old Russian citizen got arrested for the bank robbery on the island of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. On the morning of December 21, a man armed with a gun went to Sparebank 1 of Nord-Norge branch in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of the province of Svalbard. Svalbardposten reported that, specifying that local authorities called him a "tourist".
There were only three employees there, at the point of the gun they gave the robber 70,000 NOK (USD 8,000). The alarm worked at 10:40 a.m, and 20 minutes later, the offender was detained.
As it turned out, he legally received a rifle in Svalbard. It is not specified what made the Russian commit the crime. He was arrested for four weeks and sent to the city of Tromsø in mainland Norway. The investigation is underway; the man will be charged.
According to the local press, this is the first bank robbery in the history of Svalbard, which is twice the size of Belgium. According to the census of 2016, 2,667 people lived in the archipelago. Most are placed in Longyearbyen. 69.9% of these are Norwegians, 18.3% are Russians and Ukrainians, 0.4% are Poles.
The Svalbard archipelago is the northernmost part of Norway, it is located about 1000 kilometers from the North Pole. There is a full visa-free regime on the island.