Saturday, August 15, 2009

Must be some Pretty Good Lumber

The hijackers who allegedly took the Arctic Sea, or correction, the second set of hijackers who took the Arctic Sea, are evidently demanding a ransom:
Authorities said the ransom demand might be from a second group of hijackers who targeted the ship after it was first allegedly hijacked for 12 hours off the coast of Sweden.
1.5 million, certainly not an outlandish sum based on the estimated overall value of ship and cargo. Authorities seem to be pointing reporters towards a narcotics connection..
"All crew members were 'hard' questioned for a considerable amount of time. The questioning was related to drug trafficking."
To keep it straight this was the first set of evil-mongerers. The obvious question is why, after such an event and with seriously injured crewmembers aboard, did the shipping company not demand they sail to the nearest port? It would seem they might want a proper investigation and treatment for the wounded crewmembers. The whole thing is fishy enough to 'flag'.

Anywho, the Times of London provides more insight:
Theories have so far included fears that the crew have been coerced into smuggling weapons for the Russian mafia, that the crew has seized the ship in a dispute with its operators or that it had been converted into a “phantom ship” for the purpose of stealing cargos.
In other words, the hijackers could be the ship's own crew, hobbled as they are. According to AP the ship's satellite transponder signaled briefly it was in the Bay of Biscay, off the west coast of France, but it may not have been attached to the ship anymore. As can be seen by this handy map (courtesy Google Earth) the Cape Verdes are a long way from both the standard course for a delivery to Algeria or from the original hijacking spot.

This is pretty strange but with the Russians involved maybe not so much (for example, when searching for "Putin riding bareback" on Google the first return seems to be a malware attack site).

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