“You can easily hide an alley of cruise missiles under a lumber stockpile,” Kouts told an Estonian newspaper two weeks ago, and the Russian maritime expert who broke the story on Aug. 8 of the ship’s disappearance agrees with him.
“I can’t think of any other reason,” Mikhail Voitenko told ABC News. “I just can’t explain it by any other way. Not by piracy, it’s foolish. What piracy?” he asks, pointing to the low value of the ship’s official cargo.
Voitenko has been a loud voice about the lack of detail surrounding the saga of the Arctic Sea and his reporting in his online maritime bulletin Sovfracht apparently touched a nerve. A few days ago he got a call telling him he had hours to “get the hell out of Russia” or he would be arrested.
“There is something on board they don’t want anyone to see,” says Voitenko by phone from a hotel in Istanbul. He says that by reporting the missing ship he “spoiled the whole business for somebody” and now “they just want revenge, to smash me.”
Voitenko says his primary concern is the ship’s crew. When the navy took over the ship they immediately flew 11 of the 15 crew back to Moscow along with the hijackers for questioning.
The crew members were confined to a hotel for two weeks, only allowed to call their families to tell them they were alive and well. They were released over the weekend and haven’t revealed anything about their ordeal or the questioning that followed. [continued…]