The investigators of the General Investigative Office of the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor-general’s Office check authenticity of the citizenship, residence and testimony of those arrested as suspects for kidnapping Russian citizens - crew members of the Arctic Sea.
The investigation has found that eight suspects had hijacked the vessel in open waters outside the territory of any country. And the suspects acted in an organized manner with clear-cut roles and disguised as military officers.
Representatives of the Russian naval forces conducted the rescue operation in order to release the Russian citizens and the hijacked vessel in strict accordance with international law and UN conventions of 1982 and 1958, regulating the fight against piracy.
According to available information from the criminal case, two suspects presented themselves citizens of the Russian Federation, permanently residing in Estonia, one suspect presented Estonian passport and claims that he resides in this country; the three suspects, according to preliminary data, are stateless, residing in Estonia; one citizen of Latvia said that it is this country he resides in; the eighth suspect is a stateless person, but his place of residence is indicated in Latvia.
The investigation also check the information received on their police records. There is some information at the disposal of the investigation that six of the eight arrested from 2001 to 2005 were serving sentences for various crimes against person and property committed on the territory of the Republic of Estonia.
All eight men aged 30 to 45 years, are more than 180 cm in height and in good physical shape.
As part of the investigation other investigatory actions are also being conducted, and aimed at establishing all the circumstances of the crime, as well as gathering and consolidating evidence against the suspects of the kidnapping Russian citizens and piracy.