This is too interesting a story not to post about.
The Artic Sea is a $50 million vessel with an unknown payload.
It's either drugs or worse because Putin and his stooge Medvedev have sent the Russian military and the FSB to get it back.
Associated Press: Missing ship: a foggy saga of rumors, few clues.
The ship, which its owners say is carrying an Algeria-bound load of timber, set sail from Finland on July 23. The next day, the crew reported, about a dozen men boarded the ship near the Swedish island of Gotland, tied up the crew, beat them, said they were looking for drugs and then sped off in an inflatable craft.The Guardian: Secret cargo theory as hunt for missing vessel Arctic Sea goes on.
The motive for the alleged attack is unknown and the report itself has raised doubts. Such an attack would have been unusual in European waters, and Swedish police said they started investigating only after hearing about it several days later from the ship's owners.
But Mikhail Voitenko, the editor of Russia's Sovfracht maritime bulletin, said the ship, originally thought to be carrying £1m-worth of timber from Finland to Algeria, may have been targeted because it was carrying an unknown cargo.Daily Mail: Nuclear riddle of missing ship as pirates demand a £1m ransom.
"The only sensible answer is that the vessel was loaded secretly with something we don't know anything about," he told the Russia Today news channel. "We have to remember that before loading in Finland the vessel stayed for two weeks in a shipyard in Kaliningrad [formerly Königsberg]. I'm sure it cannot be drugs or illegal criminal cargo. I think it is something much more expensive and dangerous."
The ransom demand came as The Mail on Sunday established radiation tests were carried out at the port of Pietarsaari in western Finland, where the Maltese-flagged ship Arctic Sea started its voyage. ...Huffington Post: The Arctic Sea: Russian Navy Searches Atlantic For Missing Ship.
The fact that nuclear tests were conducted will fuel speculation that the ship did have a hidden cargo.
Enquiries by this newspaper have established that no checks were carried out on what was being transported in the hold prior to its departure from Finland on July 23.
And the FSB, the Russian security service, as well as MI5 have been involved in the investigation into the hijacked vessel. ...
The Arctic Sea began its voyage after a summer refit in the Russian port of Kaliningrad, which is infamous for smuggling.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered that "all necessary measures" be taken to find the missing ship, and the Russian navy turned all of its vessels in the Atlantic - including three landing ships, a frigate and two nuclear-powered submarines - to search. The Defense Ministry said Thursday it was also using satellites.