Russia charges Roxen captain, two weeks after boat was seized
Russian authorities have lodged against the captain of a fishing vessel which has been detained in the Kaliningrad Oblast since May 10, though details of what the charges precisely entail, or the course of potential legal proceedings, have not been made public yet.
The vessel, a fishing trawler called the Roxen, belongs to Haapsalu-based company Morobell. As reported on ERR News, she was apprehended by Russian officials after straying into Russian territorial waters, which Morobell stated was due to faulty navigational equipment.
The vessel was flying the Finnish flag, due to EU fishing rights and quotas, and was already carrying 340 tonnes of legally-caught fish. Her next destination was supposed to be Denmark, where she would have unloaded her complement; she caught an additional 7.5 tonnes of sprat while in Russian waters.
Estonia's foreign ministry said at the time it was in close contact with its Finnish counterpart, and that the Roxen's crew were safe and well. Damages due from the Roxen's entry to Russian waters of around 49 million rubles (€674,000) were cited by Russian news agency Interfax at the time.
Since the Roxen was seized, Morobell has hired two law firms to deal with the case, BNS reports, quoting daily Postimees. An Estonian consul has been on board the ship twice during its internment, and only the captain was charged, on Thursday evening, it is reported.
"An agent hired by us is taking care of supplies. Everything's OK with the men, we are in contact with them all the time and we hope the situation will be solved," Morovell board member Raivo Baum said, according to BNS.
Editor: Andrew Whyte