Recalling the days of Viking raids, an act of piracy occurred in Swedish waters involving a Finnish cargo ship crewed by Russians. At first glance, any news story about pirates gets automatically relegated to the Gulf of Aden off Somalia. But in a rare change of geography, this ship was hijacked in the Baltic Sea.
The Maltese-registered Finnish ship, The Arctic Sea, was carrying a very valuable load of timber worth more than USD 1.8 million. In late July the ship was stopped by masked men dressed in black claiming to be narcotics police in the Swedish waters between Oland and Gotland. The 15 Russians on board the hijacked ship were bound for 12 hours as the masked pirates searched their vessel.
But just as suddenly as they arrived, the pirates left the ship, hopped into a high-speed inflatable boat and sped away into the night. The Arctic Sea then continued on its way to its destination in Algeria.
Things have now taken another twist, according to The Local, as the ship has simply disappeared off the coast of Portugal along with its Russian crew and cargo of timber. Neither the Russian government, nor the Finnish company that owns the timber, Stora Enso, knows anything. Russian authorities are now searching the high seas for The Arctic Sea and its 12 missing citizens.