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  1. #1
    Member PBateman's Avatar
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    Russia ship mystery editor flees

    A journalist has fled Russia after suggesting the Arctic Sea cargo ship that was apparently hijacked in July may have been carrying illegal weapons.

    Mikhail Voitenko said he had been told to leave Moscow or face arrest.
    The editor of Sovfracht, an online maritime journal, fled on Wednesday, saying he may not be able to return as his life would be in danger.

    Eight men, mainly from Estonia, have been charged with hijacking and piracy over the case. The men are suspected of seizing the ship and its 15-man Russian crew after raiding it disguised as police. The alleged hijackers were taken to Russia after the ship was spotted 300 miles (480km) off the west coast of Africa on 16 August.

    Secret shipment Mr Voitenko - who was among the first to cast doubt on official explanations about the ship's disappearance - told the BBC it was nonsense to suggest pirates had been involved. Instead he suggested the ship may have been carrying a secret shipment of weapons as part of a private business deal by state officials.


    Speaking to the BBC from Turkey, Mr Voitenko said he had received a threatening phone call from "serious people" whom he suggested may have been members of Russia's intelligence agency, the FSB.

    The caller told Mr Voitenko that those involved in the mysterious case of the Arctic Sea were very angry with him because he had spoken publicly, and were planning on taking action against him, he said. "As long as I am out of Russia I feel safe," Mr Voitenko told the BBC. "At least they won't be able to get me back to Russia and convict [me]."

    He also said Nato knew exactly what had happened to the Arctic Sea.
    A Nato spokesman said the alliance had been in contact with Russia throughout the crisis, but would not say anything more. The FSB refused to comment on the allegations.

    Further inspection Mystery continues to surround the ship's disappearance, amid speculation the ship may have been intercepted by Mossad - Israel's foreign intelligence service - in order to prevent a shipment of illegal arms to the Middle East.



    The 4,000-tonne Maltese-flagged vessel vanished in July days after leaving Finland with an apparent cargo of timber worth $1.8m (£1.1m), destined for the Algerian port of Bejaia.

    Observers have questioned why the alleged hijackers would risk seizing the Arctic Sea in one of Europe's busiest shipping lanes for a relatively inexpensive cargo. Russian authorities said nothing suspicious was found aboard the ship when it was found last month, but have said a more thorough inspection would be carried out when the Arctic Sea arrives in the Russian port of Novorossiisk.

  2. #2
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    Happyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBateman
    but have said a more thorough inspection would be carried out when the Arctic Sea arrives in the Russian port of Novorossiisk.
    By which time any incriminating evidence will have been dumped overboard !!


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happyman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PBateman
    but have said a more thorough inspection would be carried out when the Arctic Sea arrives in the Russian port of Novorossiisk.
    By which time any incriminating evidence will have been dumped overboard !!

    Hopefully, at least that would be better then making it's delivery point... And someone would be out quite a bit of dosh..

  4. #4
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    EDIT, EDIT. erm, oops the last chang clouded my views
    Last edited by gjbkk; 03-09-2009 at 09:55 PM.

  5. #5
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    WTF are illegal weapons/arms? And what subjective body deems itself to decide what is so? The so-called international governing hypocritical overlords that find such activities offensive and threatening could easily take a harder look at the real criminals that suspend any jurisprudence as it might apply to themselves.

  6. #6
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    Arms for Iran

    Missing channel pirate ship carried Russian arms for Iran

    The Arctic Sea mysteriously disappeared off the coast of France on 1 August 2009
    Mark Franchetti in Moscow and Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv

    A CARGO ship that vanished in the Channel was carrying arms to Iran and was being tracked by Mossad, the Israeli security service, according to sources in both Russia and Israel.

    The Arctic Sea, officially carrying a cargo of timber worth £1.3m, disappeared en route from Finland to Algeria on July 24. It was recovered off west Africa on August 17 when eight alleged hijackers were arrested. The Kremlin has consistently denied that the vessel was carrying a secret cargo. It claims the ship was hijacked by criminals who demanded a £1m ransom.

    The official version was challenged by sources in Tel Aviv and Moscow who claimed the ship had been loaded with S-300 missiles, Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapon, while undergoing repairs in the Russian port of Kaliningrad.

    Mossad, which closely monitors arms supplies to Iran, is said to have tipped off the Russian government that the shipment had been sold by former military officers linked to the underworld.

    RELATED LINKS
    Russian Navy joins hunt for missing 'piracy' ship

    The Kremlin then ordered a naval rescue mission which involved destroyers and submarines. Any evidence that the Kremlin had let advanced weaponry fall into the hands of criminals or be sold to Iran would be highly embarrassing, so military officials believe a “cover story” was concocted.

    “The official version is ridiculous and was given to allow the Kremlin to save face,” said a Russian military source. “I’ve spoken to people close to the investigation and they’ve pretty much confirmed Mossad’s involvement. It’s laughable to believe all this fuss was over a load of timber. I’m not alone in believing that it was carrying weapons to Iran.”

    The alleged hijackers, four Estonians, two Russians and two Latvians, will go on trial in Moscow. According to the Kremlin’s account, they boarded the Arctic Sea in the Baltic by claiming their inflatable craft was in trouble and then took over the ship at gunpoint.

    Sources in Moscow suggested Mossad may have played a part in the alleged hijacking by setting up a criminal gang, who were unlikely to have known anything about a secret cargo. “The best way for the Israelis to block the cargo from reaching Iran would have been to create a lot of noise around the ship,” said a former army officer.

    “Once the news of the hijack broke, the game was up for the arms dealers. The Russians had to act. That’s why I don’t rule out Mossad being behind the hijacking. It stopped the shipment and gave the Kremlin a way out so that it can now claim it mounted a brilliant rescue mission.”

    According to Israeli military sources, Israel received intelligence that weapons bound for Iran were being loaded in Kaliningrad, a port notorious for gun runners. “A decision was then taken to inform the Kremlin,” said the source.

    Had the S-300 missiles been delivered, Iran would have significantly strengthened its air defences. An Israeli air force source said that in the event of an attack on Iranian nuclear installations, such missiles could increase Israeli casualties by 50%.

    Since the Arctic Sea was retaken, Russia has imposed a security blackout. The hijackers, the crew and two investigative teams were flown back to Moscow in three Il-76 air freight planes. For more than a week after being freed the crew were not allowed to talk to their families. The captain and three crew are still on board the ship, which has resumed its voyage to Algeria, but they have not been able to call home.

    Last week Mikhail Voitenko, an outspoken piracy expert who disputed the Kremlin’s original version of events, fled Russia, claiming he had received threats from an official angered by his statements.

    Admiral Tarmo Kouts, former commander of Estonia’s armed forces and the European Union’s rapporteur on piracy, has infuriated Moscow by saying the only plausible explanation of the mystery is that the ship was transporting weapons. A spokesman for the Finnish owners denied that missiles could have been secretly loaded onto the ship.

    Sources who suspect Mossad’s involvement point to a visit to Moscow by Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, the day after the Arctic Sea was rescued. Peres held four hours of private talks with Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president. Although the Israeli foreign ministry would not be drawn on the Arctic Sea, it confirmed that the two leaders had discussed the sale of Russian weapons to countries hostile to Israel. According to Israeli officials, Peres received verbal guarantees from the Russians that they would not sell advanced weapons systems to Iran or Syria.

    “Clearly the Israelis played a role in the whole Arctic Sea saga,” said a Russian military source. “Peres used the incident as a bargaining chip over the issue of arms sales to Arab states, while Israel allowed the Kremlin a way out with its claims to have successfully foiled a piracy incident.”view-source:Missing channel pirate ship carried Russian arms for Iran - Times Online

  7. #7
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    gotta love how government are playing us and the media,

    another evidence that everything is illusions and lies,

    it even makes conspiracy theories paled compared to the truth,

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrivingForce
    Hopefully, at least that would be better then making it's delivery point
    Doubt this is a one off deal. Many shipments do get through so don't feel too sorry for the boys who lost a little dosh DF. Getting the occasional shipment confiscated or dumped overboard all part of overall cost of doing business.

  9. #9
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    From Telegraph,UK:fugitive Maritime Bulletin editor, Mr Voitenko. Yesterday, the rumours were that he had already moved on to Thailand, and when the Sunday Telegraph tried to contact him again, his phone line was dead.
    view-source:'Hijackers' of Arctic Sea ghost ship in murky waters - Telegraph

  10. #10
    Out there...
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    For me it just shows up the real Russia. Run by gangsters. Even the most patriotic Russian must be beginning to realise that the whole communist setup is back, just a different image, but the same lies, corruption and absolute power.

    Or maybe they don't know?

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