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The cargo ship allegedly hijacked by pirates amid claims that it was smuggling missiles to Iran has ended its three-month odyssey in Malta after being tested for nuclear contamination.
The Arctic Sea was allowed to enter the Grand Harbour in Valletta last night after the Maltese Civil Protection Department declared it free of radiation and chemical hazards.
Nobody has explained why a ship transporting a relatively inexpensive load should have been the target of the first documented act of piracy in Northern European waters for centuries.
Eleven other crewmen were held in Moscow for a week for interrogation by the Federal Security Service. They and the eight alleged pirates had been flown to Russia on three IL76 Transport Aircraft from Cape Verde, adding to speculation about a secret military cargo. The Russian aircraft are used to transport heavy weaponry.
MOSCOW — The Russian maritime expert who was among the first to raise the alarm about the mysterious disappearance of the Arctic Sea freighter said Thursday he has fled the country after receiving a threatening phone call.
Mikhail Voitenko, the editor of the online Maritime Bulletin-Sovfracht, posted an article about the ship's disappearance on Aug. 8. He then speculated that the ship might have been carrying a secret cargo, possibly weapons.
There has been mounting speculation that the freighter was intercepted by Israel to prevent the delivery of missiles or nuclear materials to Iran or Syria.
Originally posted by PsykoOps
It's easy to rule out the secret missile cargo. The missiles in question aren't small, they wouldn't have been able to hide them anywhere. Finnish customs declared the ship empty and with no visible repairs or signs of recent painting.