Russian troops who located a cargo ship that vanished for more than a fortnight, arrested eight suspected pirates when they boarded the vessel off the coast of west Africa, the country's defence minister said today.
The armed hijackers – four Estonian, two Latvian and two Russian nationals – had been in control of the Arctic Sea since boarding it in Swedish waters on 24 July, Anatoly Serdyukov said, according to Russian news agencies.
On the orders of the pirates, the ship's 15-strong Russian crew switched off their location transmitters and sailed towards Africa. The vessel was found 300 miles off the coast of the Cape Verde islands following a joint operation involving Russia's navy and air force, Serdyukov was quoted as saying by Interfax.
The ship was intercepted by an anti-submarine warfare ship, the Ladny, and the crew were freed without a shot being fired, he said.