A Russian court sentenced six men involved in a rare case of European piracy to 7 to 12 years in prison on Thursday for their roles in the hijacking of a cargo ship off the coast of Sweden in July 2009, Russian news agencies reported. The men were among a team of eight hijackers, mostly residents of Estonia, charged with commandeering the ship and 15 Russian crew members and ferrying it through European waters out into the Atlantic Ocean. The Russian Navy eventually tracked down the ship, Arctic Sea. It was officially carrying cheap timber, though the heavy-handed rescue operation fueled rumors that it was smuggling illicit cargo. Russian investigators denied this. The two other hijackers were convicted earlier.
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