A ransom has been sought for a Russian-crewed cargo vessel that disappeared two weeks ago, Finnish police said on Saturday, as a Russian frigate headed in the direction where the vessel had been spotted.
The ransom demand was made to the Finnish owners of the Arctic Sea, police said, with the vessel's disappearance having set off an intense search by the Russian military and deep concern over its fate.
"Yes, it is true that there has been a demand for ransom, which is money, and the demand has been made to the company which owns the ship, Solchart Management in Finland," Finnish Detective Chief Superintendent Jan Nyholm told AFP. The company could not be immediately reached for comment.
Officials in Cape Verde and France said on Friday the ship had been spotted off the archipelago, which lies off Africa's western coast, but Russia has not confirmed the sighting.
The French military said today it was likely the ship remained in the same area and a Russian warship seemed headed towards it.
"A small Russian frigate that was located in the Mediterranean is currently headed toward the south, probably to meet up with the Arctic Sea," said French Commander Jerome Baroe.