Russian Navy Find Missing Arctic Sea Cargo ShipWorld | August 17, 2009, Monday // 17:58| views
The Arctic Sea had last been sighted in the Bay of Biscay on 30 July, according to Russian media. Photo by huffingtonpost.com
Russia says it has found the missing Arctic Sea cargo vessel near the Cape Verde islands and retrieved its Russian crew.
Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said that the 15-member crew had been taken on board a Russian navy vessel. They were in good condition, he said, cited by the BBC.
The Finnish-owned Arctic Sea went off radar after passing through the English Channel with its cargo of timber.
Speculation over the cause of its disappearance had ranged from pirates to a mafia dispute to a commercial row.
The Arctic Sea was found early on Monday 480 km off Cape Verde in the Atlantic Ocean, Tass news agency quoted Serdyukov as telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
"The crew have been transferred to another ship. They are being interrogated now in order to find out what happened," Serdyukov said.
The sailors were "alive, healthy and are not under armed guard", the agency quoted him as saying.
Russian navy ships had been searching for the 4 000-tonne Maltese-flagged vessel, which had been carrying timber.
Carrying timber reportedly worth USD 1,8 M, it sailed from Finland and had been scheduled to dock in the Algerian port of Bejaia on 4 August.
Earlier in its voyage, the ship reported being boarded by up to 10 armed men as it sailed through the Baltic Sea on 24 July, but said the intruders left the vessel on an inflatable boat after 12 hours.
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