Armed attackers boarded ship in Baltic over 'commercial dispute'

A ship hijacked in the Baltic may still have been under the control of armed criminals as it passed through the Straits of Dover on 27 July, according to Coastguards.

The BBC reports that the Maltese-flagged Arctic Sea, carrying 15 Russian crew was boarded by up to 10 armed men claiming to be anti-drugs police as it sailed through the Baltic sea on July 24.

The Finnish shipping line told Swedish authorities that the intruders had left the 3,988-tonne cargo ship carrying around £1m worth of timber around 12 hours later.

But on 3 August, Interpol contacted the MCA to warn that the hijackers may still be in charge of the ship, which was last recorded off the coast of Brest, northern France, just before 0130 BST on 30 July.

The ship was due to arrive in Bejaia, Algeria on 4 August, according to the passage plan relayed to UK Coastguards, but its current location is unknown.

The BBC Today program reported that the incident may have been a commercial dispute, rather than a terrorist or opportunist attack.