Moscow – There were no weapons being smuggled on board the hijacked “Arctic Sea” freighter according to the conclusions of a Russian investigation into the vessel, reported the Interfax news agency on Wednesday. Speculation has mounted ever since
the ship went missing on July 24, to be subsequently rescued by Russian forces on August 17, that it had not carried lumber, as stated in its manifest, but rockets destined for Iran.
Now, after weeks of Russian officials denying those charges, investigators say their research has backed up those denials.
The ship is scheduled to dock at Las Palmas on Spain’s Canary Islands where it will be handed over to Maltese authorities, since the ship was registered under Malta’s flag, said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s investigative service. According to official reports, the ship had been taken by pirates near Sweden. The accused pirates, primarily Estonians, are in custody in Russia. Most of the crew has been released after questioning in Russia, though four crew members remain on board the freighter while it heads to port. The four remaining crewmen are to fly home so a new team can man the freighter on its way to Malta.
More on this can be found via the Associated Press HERE