MV Arctic Sea
The MV Arctic Sea is a merchant vessel cargo ship, formerly registered in Malta that was reported as missing between late July and mid August 2009 en route from Finland to Algeria. On July 24, the Arctic Sea, manned by a Russian crew and carrying a cargo of what was declared to consist solely of timber, was allegedly boarded by hijackers off the coast of Sweden. The incident was not immediately reported, and contact with the ship was apparently lost on, or after, July 30. The Arctic Sea did not arrive at its scheduled port in Algeria, and on August 14 the ship was located near Cape Verde instead. On August 17 it was seized by the Russian Navy. An investigation into the incident is underway amidst speculation regarding the ship's actual cargo, and allegations of a cover-up by Russian authorities. The Arctic Sea was towed into harbour in the Maltese capital of Valletta on October 29, 2009.The ship's hijacking and subsequent events remain mysterious as no credible explanation exists of its disappearance and Russia's conduct during and after capturing the ship. If confirmed to be an act of piracy, the hijacking of Arctic Sea would be the first known of its kind in Northern European waters for centuries.Although by March 2011 all the hijackers had officially been found guilty of piracy, this has not led to – in the words of BBC correspondent Daniel Sandford – being ""closer to knowing what actually happened"".