Friday, September 4, 2009

This Old Cargo Ship Still Just Sails On Regardless

The “Arctic Sea” story has more turns than a corkscrew
Shipping News Feature

TURKEY – Yes, add another country to the list. The Maltese flagged, Finnish owned, Russian crewed, Algeria destined Arctic Sea, boarded by hooded figures supposedly Estonian off the coast of Sweden which ran up the English Channel until disappearing off France was actually hijacked by agents from Israel preventing arms reaching the Middle East – or not.

Yet another twist has been added to this tale which is rapidly reaching Marie Celeste (pic) like proportions. In this latest part of the saga a journalist, albeit a slightly eccentric one, and a recognised expert on maritime affairs in his native Russia, has turned up in Turkey.

Mikhail Voitenko, a blogger and editor of Sovfracht, a marine online journal, has fled his motherland after suggesting that the ship was carrying arms as part of a private business deal by Russian officials, who he claims may be FSB (Russian intelligence) agents. At the time of writing the FSB had made no comment and Nato sources, whom Mr Voitenko claims knew all about the circumstances surrounding the vessels disappearance and seizure, simply confirmed they had been in touch with the Russian authorities regarding the matter.

Mr Voitenko has apparently now stated that he has been instructed to stay away from Russia for some months. He failed to identify who had told him this and his management at Sovfracht would merely say he was in Istanbul “on business”

(If you are the one person on the planet unaware of this story feel free to catch up by reading the preceding articles, all published in August on the dates shown:- 1st 12th 14th 16th 17th 24th )