Search for the Missing Freighter

Hijacked Ship Found Off Africa's Coast

Updated 19:45

The ship Arctic Sea that was allegedly hijacked in Swedish waters has been localized off the coast of western Africa, writes the online German version of Financial Times. The Cape Verde Coast Guard confirmed on Friday that the ship has been sighted 740 kilmeters ouside the island group, though it has not entered Cape Verde territorial waters.

The German Financial Times also reports that the ship has indeed been hijacked, as earlier suspected. The hijackers reportedly demand 1.5 million dollars for the ship's return.

The news comes soon after the European Commission expressed doubt on Friday about whether the Maltese-registered timber ship was actually hijacked, as Reuters reports. According to radio calls, the ship and its Russian crew had been attacked two times, once off the Swedish coast and once off the Portuguese coast. This, the commission said, was very unusual, and "has nothing in common with traditional acts of piracy or armed robbery at sea."

The Cape Verde Coast Guard has said that international organizations and authorities have been contacted, and that any action taken will be conducted jointly.