Monday, June 18, 2012 -
10:01:00 PM -
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Well, it looks like m/v Alaed is carrying the cargo of helicopters to Syria, after all. Russian authorities admitted they sent helicopters to Syria, though they claim helicopters to be old ones undergoing maintenance in Russia after service in Syrian military. Russian authorities didn’t name the vessel which carries or carried helicopters back to Syria. When m/v Alaed first came into the public view as possible arms carrier, Danish United Nordic Shipping rejected an allegation, naming themselves as a commercial operator of the vessel. Now in latest news United Nordic Shipping said it has nothing to do whatsoever with either vessel or its manager FEMCO company, based in Sakhalin, Russia, claiming the vessel was recently bought by Russians. United Nordic Shipping mentioned “an unfortunate link to FEMCO”.
Meanwhile, the British marine insurer Standard Club said it had withdrawn cover from all the ships owned by Femco, including the m/v Alaed. British security officials confirmed they had told Standard Club that providing insurance to the shipment was likely to be a breach of European Union sanctions against the Syrian regime.
The vessel arrived to S-Petersburg on June 4, calling Gibraltar on May 2, with no reported port calls between those two dates, which seems to be rather strange. The voyage began in Nakhodka, Russian Far East port, vessel transited Suez and naturally, called Gibraltar for refueling. But where was the vessel between May 2 and June 4? With cruise speed 12.5 knots vessel had to reach S-Petersburg from Gibraltar in 8-10 days, not in more than 30 days time. There was enough time for the vessel actually, to call Syria after Gibraltar and then head for S-Petersburg – in fact, if there was such a trip, it was finely tuned into the dates of Gibraltar and S-Petersburg arrivals.
As of June 17 2012 vessel was under way en route from S-Petersburg to Vladivostok, according to AIS, but it’s not exactly so. Vessel left S-Petersburg on June 8 and on June 10 called Baltiysk, a well-known military base on Baltic sea. Vessel left Baltiysk on June 11. m/v Alaed last and ongoing voyages are a mystery, but we’ll find out about ongoing voyage soon enough – vessel either will cross the Atlantic to transit Panama Canal, or will pass Gibraltar and transit Suez, or will “disappear” and show up much later somewhere in Suez or Red sea.
Syria arms fever
Monday, June 18, 2012
United Nordic Shipping refuses all allegations in connection with the multipurpose vessel Alaed, presumably involved in arms transportation to Syria. British The Telegraph wrote Alaed transported or is transporting Russian-origin attack helicopters to Syria, on an assumption that Alaed though owned by Curacao-based company, is operated by a Russian company Femco, based in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin island, Russian Far East. However, the commercial manager of the vessel is Danish shipping company United Nordic Shipping, but the company ftatly refused any allegations connecting Alaed to helicopters, or any arms, transportation to Syria. United Nordic Shipping already explained itself and its activities to Danish authorities, and they were found satisfactory. As of June 18 2012 vessel is under way en route from S-Petersburg to Vladivostok. General cargo and heavy lift vessel Alaed IMO 9574999, dwt 9000, built 2010, flag Curacao.