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."

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