Nowhere to run – man arrested after first ever bank robbery near North Pole

A suspected armed robber has been arrested after the first ever bank robbery in a remote archipelago near the North Pole.

The bank raid happened in Svalbard, the world’s northernmost settlement, located in the Arctic Ocean halfway between Norway and the North Pole.

Police have said the suspect was a foreign national travelling in the region but did not reveal any other details other than a man with a gun “seized a sum of money” and was later “arrested quite quickly”.

The man was arrested in the centre of Longyearbyen and will be questioned in the northern town of Tromso on the Norwegian mainland.

Longyearbyen, which lies about 1 000km from the North Pole, is famous for its glaciers and polar bears, which outnumber the human population of just 2,000 people.

The main way of leaving the Svalbard archipelago, which is roughly twice the size of Belgium, is by plane from the small airport.

Temperatures in winter regularly plunge to below minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4F) and can drop below minus 40 (-40F).

Commentators on social media were quick to make fun of the failed bank robbery. “He probably forgot to think about his escape route,” quipped one, while another posted: “The most reckless bank robbery in Norwegian history?”

“The most reckless bank robbery in Norwegian history?” said one Twitter user.

“He probably forgot to think about his escape route,” commented another.

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