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'Hijacked' cargo ship missing at sea

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14:14 CEST+02:00
The Finnish ship hijacked in Swedish waters in July has disappeared along with its valuable cargo of timber.

The Arctic Sea, which was claimed to have been hijacked in Swedish waters at the end of July, has disappeared from radar screens along with its cargo of timber worth over €1.3 million ($1.85 million).

The vessel was reportedly hijacked by black-clad masked men claiming to be narcotics police as it passed through Swedish waters between Gotland and Öland in the Baltic Sea in the early hours of July 24th.

The vessel's 15-man Russian crew claimed to have been bound during their 12 hour ordeal as the masked men searched the ship.

The mysterious hijackers then allegedly left the vessel in a high-speed inflatable boat and the Maltese-registered ship continued its journey towards its scheduled destination of Algeria.

The vessel was last seen in the English Channel on July 29th and Stora Enso, the Swedish-Finnish forestry concern which owns the cargo, has no idea of its whereabouts.

The owner of the Arctic Sea and the company managing the voyage, Solchart Management, have been unforthcoming with any details regarding the ship, its hijacking and the valuable cargo.

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