Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

France's Plan to Tackle Racism

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Marine Le Pen and Thomas Piketty in Time magazine's power list; EU takes on Google; Gunter Grass dies (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deadly Crossing: Migrants desperate to reach Europe; Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa: anti-violence marches and anti immigration protest

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French PM outlines action plan against racism, anti-Semitism

Read more

REPORTERS

Turkey’s hidden Armenians search for stolen identity

Read more

REVISITED

Families of slain Marikana miners still demanding justice

Read more

#TECH 24

Europe vs. Google: EU accuses search giant of market dominance abuse

Read more

#THE 51%

Women in America: Land of the free, home to the less-paid

Read more

Europe

Missing ship probably hijacked, say vessel operators

Video by Hannah MOFFAT , Luke SHRAGO

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-13

The Russian operator of a Maltese-registered, Finnish-chartered ship which disappeared late last month after passing through the Dover Strait between France and Britian believes the vessel was hijacked.

AFP - The operator of a merchant cargo ship that has disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean said on Thursday it believed the vessel has been hijacked.

The Maltese-registered, Finnish-chartered vessel disappeared while sailing from Finland to the Algerian port of Bejaia, where it was due to have docked on Aug. 4 with a $1.3-million load of timber.

"My view is that it is most likely that the vessel has been hijacked," said Viktor Matveyev, director of the Finnish company, Solchart, which operates the vessel.

On Wednesday Russian warships were ordered to join the hunt for the Arctic Sea, a 4,000-tonne bulk carrier with a 15-strong Russian crew that went missing shortly after passing through the Dover Strait between France and Britain late last month.

Relatives of the crew declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Thursday.

The vessel's movements were last recorded on the AisLive ship tracking system off the coast of northern France on July 30, although it has also been spotted off Portugal.

The Malta Maritime Authority said it received reports it was boarded by men posing as police in Swedish waters on July 24.

The vessel was boarded by "eight to twelve persons allegedly masked and wearing uniforms bearing the word 'police' and armed with guns and pistols," the Maltese authority said on Wednesday.

Crew members were assaulted, tied, gagged and blindfolded and some were seriously hurt, it said. They were also questioned about drug trafficking by those posing as police.

Swedish authorities have told Maltese officials that no Swedish law enforcement agencies were involved.

Date created : 2009-08-13

COMMENT(S)