Technical examinations confirmed the suspicion that the anchor found next to the Balticconnector gas pipeline last month belongs to the Chinese vessel Newnew Polar Bear, the Finnish authorities said on Friday.
"At this stage we can state that the anchor lifted from the sea on October 24, 2023, may for some technical details be considered to belong to Newnew Polar Bear. On the said anchor, the same type of paint has also been detected as in the damaged gas pipeline," Detective Superintendent Risto Lohi said, from the National Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
Based on the data collected, the main line of investigation into the sequence of events has remained unchanged. The focus is still on clearing up the role of the vessel Newnew Polar Bear.
"We have contacted Chinese authorities and made an international request for legal assistance in order to obtain information and enhance cooperation in clearing up the case," Lohi added.
The agency said, that although the "investigation has progressed well", it is still expected to last for a long time due to the related technical examinations and international requests.
The Balticconnector pipeline between Finland and Estonia experienced a sudden drop in pressure on October 8, which turned out to be leak.
The authorities believe the damage to the pipeline was likely caused by the anchor, but it is not yet known if it was deliberate or intentional.
Two communication cables between Estonia and Finland and Estonia and Sweden were also damaged.
Editor: Helen Wright