Arctic Sea located 16 nautical miles off Las Palmas

A Maltese team composed of police officers and officials from the Malta Maritime Authority boarded the Arctic Sea Sep. 11 to carry out a maritime safety investigation into the ship in parallel with a law enforcement one, the MMA said.

The MMA said that an agreement was reached between the Russian and Maltese authorities for a Maltese team to join the Russian investigative team who boarded the Arctic Sea on Sep 07.

The ship is currently under the control of the Russian authorities and is located 16 nautical miles off Las Palmas.

The Maltese flagged ship is owned by a Finnish company whose inspectors were yesterday stopped by Russian soldiers from boarding the ship.

Three Russian Il-76 transport plans (each capable of carrying 44 tons of cargo) were used to bring in the crew and suspected hijackers (or two or eight?).

Israel's deputy prime minister confirmed on Saturday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had visited Russia but declined to elaborate on the affair, which has triggered media accusations of official disinformation.

"He was in Russia. It created some controversy about the way it was published in Israel," Dan Meridor told Reuters in Geneva on the sidelines of a conference about global issues hosted by Britain's International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"The content was not discussed in public. Some things are better discussed (privately)," added Meridor, who is also Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy.

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