Mystery continues over the fate of the missing cargo ship, the Arctic Sea – a financial newspaper internet site is alone in claiming the amount of a ransom demand received by the Finnish operators is 1.5 million dollars. It is the latest piece of information to surface about the Russian-manned ship, but its whereabouts is still unknown.
Russia is leading the search for its 15 nationals. It has already sent warships to find it. Even NATO is now involved. Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozyn, revealed the extent of cooperation between Russia and NATO.
“All information which is of interest to the searchers is instantly passed over to Moscow, the navy’s main staff… Any other information is, let’s say, withheld for the time being since dissemination of such information can be used not only by decent citizens, but also by those who are behind the hijacking of the ship,” he said.
Loaded with timber, the Arctic Sea sailed from Finland but vanished after passing through the English Channel. It was briefly identified off the coast of France while some reports have put it off Cape Verde.
Speculation is rife about its fate. While a ransom smacks of piracy it is not known if the demand is genuine and security experts say it is rare for bandits to operate in European waters.