Suspected hijackers of Arctic Sea detained by Russian Navy

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reports are emerging that eight people suspected of hijacking the 4,000-tonne Maltese registered vessel MV Arctic Sea have been arrested by the Russian Navy, and are being detained on the frigate Ladny.

Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov confirmed that none of the detainees were members of the crew, and had boarded the vessel after approaching in a small dinghy, “using the threat of arms [and] demanded that the crew follow all of their orders without condition”.

The vessel was found on Sunday off of the Cape Verde Islands, following over a week of searching. The vessel was previously last seen off the coast of France near Brest. There was much speculation as to the whereabouts of the vessel, after it did not arrive in Béjaïa, Algeria as scheduled on August 4, 2009.

The ship is said to be carrying a cargo of Finnish timber that is worth $1.8 million.

According to the Estonian Security Police, among those detained were four Russians who were naturalized Estonian nationals, two Latvians and two Russians.

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