If you think piracy is an African or Asian problem, think twice. On 24 July, the Arctic Sea, a Maltese-flagged freighter carrying timber from Finland to Algeria, was attacked by pirates in Swedish territorial waters. The pirates boarded the ship, tied and beat up the crew, and searched the cargo. The timber was only worth $1 million, so there has been speculation in the media that the ship might have been carrying narcotics or something else more interesting to pirates.
The ship then went missing, with the Russian navy searching for it as its crew is Russian. There were conflicting reports over the last couple of days of sightings of the ship and even that it had passed through the Straits of Gibraltar. Now the Arctic Sea has been found some 300 nautical miles off the Cape Verde islands and its crew has been transferred to a Russian warship, Bloomberg cites Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying.
One of the problems tracking the Arctic Sea was lack of international coordination. The Russia Today website reported earlier that the British coast guard had the last contact with the ship on 29 July as it passed through the English Channel and only heard from the Belgian police in Zeebrugge of the hijacking afterwards.