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Poker game 'could unlock mystery of missing Icelander'

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Missing man Jon Jonsson

Missing man Jon Jonsson

Missing man Jon Jonsson

Significant developments have emerged in the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Jon Jonsson, who vanished without a trace in Dublin in February last year while at a poker tournament.

In a series of substantive advances in the case, police in Iceland have been informed that Mr Jonsson was killed "by accident" by a fellow countryman after a falling out over squandered gambling money.

An imprisoned criminal in Iceland has played an "instrumental" role in communicating a dramatic version of events, now under investigation, which it is claimed culminated in the murder of the taxi driver.

Gardaí are being kept abreast of developments by police in Iceland and await further updates, security sources confirm.

Mr Jonsson (41) arrived in the capital on Friday, February 8, and was booked into the Bonnington Hotel in Whitehall. He checked in alone. His fiancée, Jana Gudjonsdottir, couldn't travel until the following day.

The couple had booked a 10-day stay in Dublin to include a three-day poker tournament.

Gambling is illegal in Iceland but it was a keen interest of Mr Jonsson's and his fiancée.

Police in Iceland have been informed that Mr Jonsson joined an illicit poker game on the Friday night, and lost more than €4,000 belonging to an Icelandic criminal. While Mr Jonsson was not involved in criminality, it has been reported to police that he came to Ireland with this large sum of cash belonging to the criminal.

The money was earmarked for poker registration purposes for a number of players.

But instead, it is claimed, Mr Jonsson got involved in a high-stakes game and lost the lot.

It is also alleged that he tried to leave when he began to lose but was not allowed and was "given a few slaps" by other card players, also believed to be foreign nationals.

The next morning, Ms Gudjonsdottir arrived at the hotel and found Mr Jonsson asleep in their room. The couple are believed to have had a tense conversation when he awoke and he left the hotel without his passport, wallet or phone.

He did not tell her where he was going. Ms Gudjonsdottir declined to comment when contacted on the latest developments in Iceland. The missing man's sister, Anna Hildur, also declined to comment.

The last images of Mr Jonsson show him leaving the hotel shortly after 11am. He is seen on CCTV turning right and walking north on the Swords Road.

It is now thought he was on his way to meet the Icelandic man whose money he lost gambling the night before.

In recent months, a criminal serving time in an Icelandic jail for theft is believed to have made contact with Mr Jonsson's family. This man is not thought to have been in Ireland when Mr Jonsson disappeared.

Family

The criminal managed to put the family in touch with a woman "close to him".

It's understood the information conveyed contains allegations another Icelandic criminal killed the father-of-four "by accident" when he became angry about losing his money. This information is now under active investigation.

Private investigator Liam Brady, who was hired by the family, and was involved in the latest developments, confirmed his probe into the disappearance is over "for now".

Gardaí at Ballymun continue to actively investigate the case.