A Russian man who robbed 70,000 kroner($8,000) from the world’s northernmost bank in Longyearbyen has been sentenced to 14 months of prison. Longyearbyen is a town in Norwegian Arctic archipelago, in which fewer than 3,000 people resides. Maxim Popov, 29, is said to have flown to Svalbard to obtain firearms for suicide but had second thoughts and broke into the bank. It is easy to buy firearms as they are sold in Svalbard for protection from polar bear attacks.
According to the local police, Popov showed a threatening behavior with a weapon rather than stealing the money, as if he had been trying to draw attention to himself. Showing no attempt of fleeing, he was arrested in a neighboring island in Svalbard and all the money was recovered.
Criminal incidents are very rare in Svalbard and Popov is dubbed the first-ever bank robber in the region. He will serve his sentence in Norwegian mainland, as there is no prison in Svalbard.