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.”