Russian authorities say they have arrested eight nationals of Latvia, Estonia and Russia aboard the Arctic Sea, a Russian-crewed merchant vessel allegedly hijacked on July 24 in Swedish territorial waters.
AFP - Russia has arrested eight nationals of the Baltic states and Russia suspected of hijacking the Arctic Sea cargo ship on July 24, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Tuesday.
"These people... boarded the Arctic Sea and, using the threat of arms, demanded that the crew follow all of their orders without condition," news agencies quoted Serdyukov as telling President Dmitry Medvedev.
He said the Arctic Sea was hijacked in Swedish territorial waters in the Baltic Sea and added that the operation to rescue the crew was accomplished without a shot being fired.
"Eight people -- not members of the crew -- have been detained," he added.
The crew of the Maltese-flagged, Russian-owned cargo ship set a course for Africa and turned off all navigational and tracking equipment under orders from the pirates, Serdyukov said.
He said the suspects included four Estonian citizens, two Latvians and two Russian nationals.
An investigation was underway aboard the Russian warship Ladny, where the 15 crew members and suspected pirates were being questioned, the reports quoted Serdyukov as saying.
Date created : 2009-08-18