Arctic Sea cargo flown back to Russia?

To fly the alleged pirates and the crew back to Moscow — a group of only 19 men — Russia dispatched two enormous military cargo planes. "The versions we are getting from the Russian government do not fit into any logical parameters, and I don't think that will change," commentator Latynina says. "When people lie, they tend to lie consistently."

The group boarded the plane at Amilcar Cabral airport, an Il-76, in widespread use for the delivery of outsized or very heavy cargo.

Russian Arctic Sea crew back home

NTV television says 11 crewmen arrived Saturday in the northern city of Arkhangelsk. It aired footage Sunday of reunions with relatives on a railroad platform. Russian authorities have charged eight men of different nationalities of hijacked the the Arctic Sea which was on it way from Finland to north Africa with timber. The investigation into the hijacking is made more complicated by the fact that the ship flies under the Maltese flag, the shipping line is Finnish, but is under Russian ownership, the entire crew are Russian, and the hijackers are apparently from the Baltic countries.


Missiles sold by top Russian officials.

pictured: Russian Navy commander, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky
"I think that if this journey had been successful, Russia could have ended up in a huge international scandal," he said. "I think that for this reason the order was given from the top to start this huge naval operation. We caught the boat to make sure we didn't end up in a nasty situation."

Arctic Sea: cargo tipped into the Atlantic

Published reports quote an anonymous high-ranking Russian Navy source who claims the pirates are believed to have been recruited as stooges by the intelligence services of a European Union country to intercept the ship and thwart the delivery of the missiles, according to a Russian newspaper, citing secret services sources in Russia. The paper suggested that the illegal cargo may have been tipped into the Atlantic, or have been secretly unloaded by the Russian navy which found the ship close to the Cape Verde islands off the west coat of Africa.

Some maritime security experts suspect the men had not been on the ship at all, but were part of an elaborate cover-up. The Russians seem to be treating the Arctic Sea as a pirate ship, rather than a ship captured by pirates. The Basmanny District Court has issued a writ seizing the ship, and the Russian navy is towing the vessel to Novorossiysk, apparently without stopping to unload its timber in Algeria. And rather than being released, the crew has apparently been detained in Moscow for what Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee, called “urgent interrogation.”


Arctic Sea: big lumber company, small shipment

Stora Enso owns 250 cubic meters of sawn timber with a value of about Eur 50,000 out of the total 6,700 cubic meters of timber cargo with a value of Eur 1,3 million on board the Arctic Sea,
Stora Enso and UPM sold the goods, 1,750 and 250 cubic meters respectively, to their joint venture, distribution company RETS, Nordlund said. RETS had to deliver the goods to the port of destination (Bejaia, Algeria).

The original destination of the Arctic Sea was Algeria. The ship is being towed by the Russian Navy.
“I am surprised that the ship wasn’t refuelled in Cape Verde. Fuel is available in all harbours. Perhaps the navy wants to keep the ship in its own hands.”

The Finnish owners of the vessel’s cargo said they were simply shipping redwood for windows and doors in Algeria.

“We sold the timber to three customers in Algeria.” He declined to give the customers’ names.

The police have not questioned the company about the ship and its freight. Rets Timber, a joint venture between Europe’s largest papermaker, Stora Enso Oyj, and UPM-Kymmene Oyj, Kari Naumanen, chief executive officer at Helsinki-based Rets. Most of the lumber came from other companies. here


Chendin 2 = Chon Ji 2=Nam Yang8?

typical of this length vessel

The closest match to Chendin 2 (the name used by the Arctic Sea when arrested) on the Lloyd’s Marine Intelligence Unit database is Chon Ji 2, which is 1979-built, 3,870 dwt and North Korea-flagged. Its International Maritime Organisation number is 8988129. Arctic Sea is Malta-flag, 1991-built, 4,706 dwt and bears the IMO number 8912792.

IMO Number: 8988129 Country: North Korea
MMSI Number: 445176000 Length: 101.0m
Callsign: HMYO2 Beam: 14.0m

Another North Korean ship built in 1979 and 101.0m in length is Nam Yang8:
Nam Yang8
Typ: Cargo Ship
IMO Number: 7913385 Country: North Korea
MMSI Number: 445251000 Length: 101.0m
Callsign: HMYM4 Beam: 16.0m

Why did North Korea tell the Russians (if they did) that Chendin 2 was in Angola, and is it>?

The Russian tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets, citing Russian security sources, said the Arctic Sea was smuggling arms and that the hijackers were stooges hired by the intelligence service of an EU member state to intercept it. Suspected hijacker, Russian Dmitry Bartenev’s brother said he believed that the hijacking suspects had been caught up in “political games.”

“I think they were framed, and it is not just my opinion, everybody who knows them also thinks so,” Alexei Bartenev. “They were seeking a job and got involved in a political conflict, were made hostages of a political game.” He did not elaborate.
Sweden, Malta and Finland have been called upon by Russia to help answer questions in the investigation into the hijacking and disappearance this summer of the "Arctic Sea" freighter. "But what else it is actually transporting. It has yet to be clarified," Nikolai Makarov, chief of Russia's general staff, told reporters during an official visit to Mongolia.

"We want to make sure that there is nothing but timber on board this ship. The motive for the seizure is simply not very clear," said Makarov.

Authorities in Finland, which the Arctic Sea departed from on July 23, have said it was not carrying any radioactive cargo.


Arctic Sea: Love that Chendin 2/dul/dhool

The Foreign Ministry said that, when the ship was intercepted, its captain claimed it was the North Korean vessel Chendin-2, and was headed from Havana to Sierra Leone with a cargo of palm wood.

It said North Korea had asserted that was impossible, saying the Chendin-2 was docked at an Angolan port at the time. The Russian navy's search of the ship ''confirmed the suggestion that it was really the Arctic Sea."

1. How did the Arctic Sea's captain know about the Chendin-2. Can you find it?
2. The Russians needed to ask the North Koreans? What about binoculars. The Maltese-flagged ship says 'Arctic Sea' on the bow and stern, Or does it?
3. Why the Foreign Ministry and not the Investigative Committee in charge of the hijackers?

Crew in custody for protection as witnesses

The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has not received any information on why the crew was also being held, and if they were suspected of wrongdoing.
Russian prosecutors said 24 August that the crew had been placed in custody, because they needed protection as witnesses. The Federal Penitentiary Service (FPS) of Russia has denied a mass media report that crew members of the Arctic Sea dry cargo ship, on being freed from the pirates’ detention, are held in the Lefortovo investigation ward in Moscow, the FPS spokesman said investigation FPS ward-2, just as any other investigation ward in Russia, holds persons only on court ruling.

The Federal Penitentiary Service did not specify the whereabouts of 11 crewmembers of the Arctic Sea taken to Moscow.

Mikhail Voitenko, editor of Russia's Sovfracht has said: "The only sensible answer is that the vessel was loaded secretly with something we don't know anything about."


Arctic Sea: If the Finns packed guided missiles

Dmitry Rogozin: That was ugly speculation. When a country like ours encounters a problem like this, one often gets the most outlandish speculation. One Estonian admiral astonished us with his cynicism and incompetence.

SPIEGEL: ... who do you mean?

Rogozin: I don't want to say the name, but I mean the former head of the Estonian armed forces, the EU rapporteur on piracy.

SPIEGEL: You are referring to Admiral Tarmo Kouts.

Rogozin: He suggested Russia was transporting rockets or guided missiles to Iran on the ship. The admiral of this seafaring power appears to have problems with geography. It's quicker to reach Iran via the Caspian Sea. The speculation that arose about this was simply nonsense, irresponsible.

SPIEGEL: There was also a rumor that the Arctic Sea had loaded an ominous freight in Kaliningrad before it set sail.

Rogozin: It's nothing more than Russophobia. Kaliningrad is rubbish too. If the Finns packed guided missiles in along with the timber, that would be up to them.

Arctic Sea: truth will never come out

Crew members have told Russian news reporters that they have been told not to disclose "state secrets", while well-informed Russian marine journalists have said they are now wary of commenting further on the case. And the explanations proffered by the alleged pirates have raised more questions than they answer. When quizzed on Russian state TV last week, Mr Lunev said he was working with an ecological group, who approached the Arctic Sea for help when their own inflatable ran out of petrol. But when asked what the group's name was, he answered: "I don't know. It was some private organisation."

Even the suspects' extensive tattoos - normally a reliable guide to identifying different sub-tribes of the Russian Mafia - have caused bafflement. "It is clear they are not our criminals, said Alexander Sidorov, the author of Russian Criminal Tattoos book, after examining TV footage.

"Security Police [Estonia] said that it’s possible to say on that photo and video material published in the international media, that suspects are similar with people, about whose involvement Security Police has earlier information."

Äripäev - Baltic Business News

According to the Estonian Security Police and the chief prosecutor's office the six residents of Estonia held by Russia in connection with the case include one Estonian citizen, two Russian citizens and three persons of undefined citizenship.

Foreign Minister Paet said: "It's regrettable that it took the Russian authorities so long to inform Estonia, even though the Russian minister of defense supplied information to the media already at the beginning of this week. In accordance with good practice one would inform the countries concerned about the detention of offenders before informing the public."


Arctic Sea: curiouser and curiouser

A column published in Novaya Gazeta by Julia Latynina (sometime Washington Post contributor) questions the likelihood that pirates would attack in such a high-traffic area. She also found discrepancies in reports provided by the Arctic Sea crew indicating that the pirates spoke in "broken English," when, according to Latynina, the crew members themselves are not English speakers.

В качестве причин известного обращения Медведева президенту Украины назывались ситуация с Зурабовым и высылка двух российских дипломатов за ведение подрывной антиукраинской деятельности. Действительно, эти события вызвали истерику у Путина, приказавшего Медведеву отреагировать, которая совпала с коммерческими интересами политтехнологов Павловского, осваивающими бюджет избирательной кампании Януковича. Все это сыграло свою роль, но главный повод для скандала дало другое событие - захват неизвестными финского судна Arctic Sea с российским экипажем.

Судно Arctic Sea прошло ремонт в Калининграде. Там на него, как предполагается, были загружены ящики с контрабандой. В ящиках могли находиться четыре стратегические крылатые ракеты Х-55 (без головных частей) и устройства, позволяющие закрепить их и обеспечивать воздушный запуск с боевых самолетов советского производства типа Су-.24 при условии их переоборудования в качестве носителей одной крылатой ракеты.

Предполагалось, что Arctic Sea, зайдя после ремонта в Финляндию, загрузит на борт груз леса в качестве легенды прикрытия, проследует в Алжир, где ящики с военной контрабандой будут переданы представителям Корпуса стражей исламской революции, которые по своим каналам доставят их в Иран.

Ранее из России в Иран аналогичным способом уже были доставлены головные части для Х-55, приспособленные для размещения в них биохимического оружия советского производства. Само биохимическое оружие в специальных контейнерах также было доставлено в Иран из России воздушным путем.

Предполагалось, что в близком будущем в Иран прибудут российские специалисты, которые приведут авиационную систему Су-24 - Х-55 в боевое состояние и обучат представителей КСИР обслуживанию и боевому применению такой системы.

Также предполагалось, что в связи с высокой вероятностью израильского авиаудара по ядерным объектам Ирана, Х-55 с биохимическим оружием могли бы быть использованы в иранских ответных действиях против городов Израиля.

Ожидалось, что после применения оружия массового поражения, Израиль и США подвергнут Иран полномасштабным бомбардировкам, а Иран активизирует террористическую деятельность иракских шиитов против войск США и попытается воспрепятствовать танкерному судоходству через Ормузский пролив.
Предполагаемый итог для Ирана: Ахмадинежад под патриотическими лозунгами сможет уничтожить оппозицию своему режиму и сплотить вокруг себя нацию.

Предполагаемый итог для Россию: мировая цена на нефть взлетит до 200-300 долларов за баррель, а внимание США будет полностью сконцентрировано на Иране, Ираке и Персидском заливе, и значит, отвлечено от Грузии и Украины. При этом. Ответственность за приобретение Ираном оружия массового поражения и средств его доставки Москва планировала возложить на Украину, используя то обстоятельство, что в 2000-2001 годах из Украины в Китай и Иран при участии спецслужб РФ, в частности, самолетов авиакомпании Виктора Бута, были поставлены по 6 крылатых ракет Х-55. Правда, были поставлены в нерабочем состоянии, пригодные лишь для изучения и копирования, чего, однако, ни Иран, ни Китай, в полной мере сделать не смогли.

Узнав о готовящейся контрабанде на судне Arctic Sea, крупная западная держава, поддерживающая с Украиной отношения стратегического партнерства, организовала перехват судна и груза. Однако, опасаясь вызвать грандиозный международный скандал, способный сорвать «перезагрузку» ее отношений с режимом Путина, эта держава решила действовать неофициально, что и было реализовано.

Весть о перехвате контрабанды вызвала в Москве истерику, в адрес Украины, обвиненной в «сливе» информации, последовали угрозы, в том числе, известное обращение Медведева, который, однако, сам вряд ли полностью был в теме - по столь важным вопросам его в известность не ставят.

В настоящий момент судно Arctic Sea, видимо, продолжает находиться под контролем тех, кто его перехватил. Вопрос о судьбе экипажа, который наверняка знал о наличии на борту контрабанды и наверняка не имел представления о том, что конкретно находится в ящиках, будет решен путем конфиденциальных переговоров между спецслужбами РФ и соответствующей западной державы. Если они сторгуются по политическим моментам, освобождение экипажа будет выглядеть как выкуп его у мифических пиратов.


Arctic Sea: alleged hijackers deny everything

Leaving court on Friday, Dmitry Bartenev said: "We were caught in a storm and were forced to evacuate to the nearest ship."

Defendant Dmitry Bartenev, 41, an unemployed Russian citizen living in Estonia, was dragged handcuffed through the court room and arrested. His head bowed in a cage, he said solving the maritime mystery was not in Russia's jurisdiction.

"A Russian court does not have the right to hear this case. The alleged illegal act happened in Swedish waters on a ship with a Maltese flag."

Maltese-flagged cargo vessel Arctic Sea is owned by Solchart, based in Finland with Russian executives. "We are appealing to all officials with a request to show humanity and provide Solchart with any reliable information on the crew and the vessel," Viktor Matveyev, managing director of the Finnish company, said.


Arctic Sea: White Nights Adventure

In areas of high latitude, Russia, Sweden, Finland, when sunsets are late, sunrises are early and darkness is never complete, the White Nights are a time of celebration. 24 July and following are White Nights, a time of carefree frolicking.
Crew members have confirmed details about the hijacking that were reported earlier.

Продолжается расследование уголовного дела о похищении экипажа судна «Arctic Sea»
Главное следственное управление Следственного комитета при прокуратуре России продолжает расследование уголовного дела по факту похищения граждан Российской Федерации - экипажа судна «Arctic Sea», возбужденного по признакам преступления, предусмотренного п. «а» ч. 3 ст. 126 УК РФ (похищение человека, совершенное организованной группой).

В ходе допросов члены экипажа судна пояснили, что к борту «Arctic Sea» в шведских территориальных водах подошла скоростная надувная лодка, в которой находилось 8 человек в черной одежде с надписью на спине «POLICIA». Они поднялись на борт судна и, угрожая оружием, потребовали от экипажа беспрекословного выполнения всех их распоряжений.

В результате предпринятых усилий моряками ВМФ России экипаж судна был освобожден, 8 неизвестных лиц, захвативших судно, задержаны.

В настоящее время 11 членов экипажа судна и лица, подозреваемые в его похищении, доставлены в Москву и с ними проводятся следственные действия.

Судно «Arctic Sea», с 4 членами экипажа в данный момент находится на дрейфе в 200 морских милях от островной линии Кабо-Верде.

Расследование уголовного дела продолжается.


Arctic Sea: Thrust & Riposte

Finland's NBI claims: "Planning of the rescue operation took time, which explains why the vessel was stopped and boarded only after a period of several weeks." Perhaps this explanation is "unclear wording."

Finland's National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) says that a claim made August 18 by the Malta Maritime Authority that the Arctic Sea was never entirely missing, is not completely accurate. The NBI says that reports of the Maltese claim are based on the unclear wording of a press release by the Malta Maratime Authority and that the location of Arctic Sea was not known at all times.

The information available to YLE is that Russian, Swedish, Maltese and Finnish officials closely monitored the movements of the vessel when located and the Russian Navy implemented the rescue operation.


Artic Sea - Why no phone home?

One outstanding mystery is why, if the ship was hijacked on 24 July, none of the crew was able to get the word out before contact was lost a few days later. "The vessel had all the necessary modern means of communication and emergency alarms, and was located in waters where ordinary mobile telephones work," said Mikhail Voitenko, editor of the Russian maritime journal Sovfrakht. "To hijack the vessel so that no one makes a peep – can you imagine how that could be? I can't." Mr Voitenko is one of the few commentators who have provided a trickle of information about the ship. He and other Russian experts have aired suspicions that the 98-metre freighter was carrying an undeclared cargo and that high-level state interests were involved, but so far nobody has been able to provide details. here

Arctic Sea - hijackers on board

Eight hijackers were found on board the Arctic Sea in addition to the 15-man crew. The hijackers had approached the Arctic Sea in a dinghy, claiming they needed help to repair their vessel, The suspects include four Estonians, two Latvians and two Russians.


Arctic Sea found hiding off Dakar

"The media had been given deliberately misleading information “which did not allow them to calculate the true actions of the Russian forces”. The Russian said that there had been intensive exchanges of information with Nato forces, which had enabled the Russian navy to seize the ship and “save the crew”.

Russian Frigate Ladny holds crew of Arctic Sea

The Arctic Sea crew were not under armed control, some of the crew are of Russian nationality. Aboard the Frigate Ladny, the questioning aims to clarify all circumstances of how the ship disappeared and why did it not send any signals.

Arctic Sea crew being interrogated

The Arctic Sea was found early on August 17 300 miles (480 km) off Cape Verde in the Atlantic Ocean.
"The crew have been transferred to another ship. They are being interrogated now in order to find out what happened," Mr Serdyukov said, according to the agency.

Arctic Sea: five different flags, names in 18 years

Finnish police say the demanded ransom for the release of the cargo ship Arctic Sea is almost $ 1,5 million . The Arctic Sea – has sailed under five different flags and as many different names since it was built in Turkey 18 years ago.


Arctic Sea: It's a Plot, see

The “likely theft” of 3 atomic armed cruise missiles, recently recovered from the crash site of the K-141 Kursk, which claimed the lives of all 118 crew members,explains the missing Maltese-flagged vessel.

The Northern Fleet, working conjointly with Finland Military Forces located and raised the 3 missing Nuclear Armed P-700 Granit Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles ( NATO reporting name SS-N-19 Shipwreck). that Russia had not allowed to be salvaged by the Dutch companies Mammoet and Smit International contracted to raise the Kursk in 2001.

Once the nuclear armed cruise missiles were safely aboard the Arctic Sea, these reports continue, their journey was to have taken them across the Atlantic to the United States where they would then be transferred to the care of the US National Nuclear Security Administration where they would then be safely dismantled at what is called the Pantex Plant located in the State of Texas as per the provisions for eliminating these weapons contained in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II).

This did not happen, however, as these reports state that when transiting the English Channel the Arctic Sea was “hijacked” by as yet “unidentified commandos” who stormed the ship purporting to be “anti-drug police” in what the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is calling a most “bizarre” situation.

Upon learning of the theft of these weapons, Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev held “emergency talks” with Finish President Tarja Halonen at the Black Sea resort of Sochi after which Medvedev ordered an immediate search begun for the Arctic Sea using “all available resources” of the Russian Fleet.

Like it?


Arctic Sea: asking ransom?

The Finnish company that operates the vessel filed an official crime report with police in Finland who passed it on to Swedish police. Ransom demanded?
Finnish Radio
Finnish Police

Arctic Sea Transponder off the Ship?

A Russian maritime website claimed that the tracking system of the missing freighter Arctic Sea was broadcasting signals from the Bay of Biscay off France, although the vessel was reportedly seen off the west coast of Africa yesterday.

A posting on the Sovfrakht website said the signal appeared on a tracking service this morning, but added that it was unclear whether the automatic identifcation system equipment was still on board the ship.


Arctic Sea repainted and sold? A Phantom?

Consider the Asian model of piracy , in which ships are redocumented, repainted and sold under another identity. What if the target is not the cargo, or ransom, but the hull? Where is the now phantom ship? What about Western Sahara/Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)? Morocco reports that it is not in El Aaiun, a port which it 'occupies' but what about the 1,110 km coastline to the south?


Maltese-flag Artic Sea IMO 8912792

The Arctic Sea may have been hijacked by pirates. The freighter, operated by Helsinki-based Oy Solchart Management AB, was scheduled to deliver a cargo of timber to Bejaia, Algeria on Aug. 4,
“It would appear that the ship has not approached the Straits of Gibraltar, which indicates that the ship headed out into the Atlantic Ocean,”



No evidence of illegal cargo on MV Mu San

North Korean Freighter found in obscure spot.
MU SAN , IMO number : 7920596
The ship’s proximity to Myanmar, a North Korean ally, and the fact that it had no apparent reason to be in the area raised suspicions
The ship anchored without authorization in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a territory of India in the Bay of Bengal, last week, according to the Indian military.
After two days of searching and of questioning the crew, India’s Navy and Coast Guard handed the ship over to police and intelligence services, having found no evidence of illegal cargo, according to the Press Trust of India.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has long been suspected of buying North Korean arms as well as providing transit services for North Korean vessels engaged in illicit trade.

Vessel's Details:
Ship Type: Cargo
Year Built: 1981
Length x Breadth: 157 m X 25 m
DeadWeight: 17618 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 11.4 / 11.4 knots
Flag: DPR Korea [KP]
Call Sign: HMZG
IMO: 7920596, MMSI: 445100000