MURMANSK, October 10 (Itar-Tass) - The captain of the Arctic Sunrise ship, Peter Willcox, an American, is fined 20,000 rubles.
The decision is taken after an investigation. The captain is fined in accordance with the Code on Administrative Offences. He refused to obey the lawful orders of border guards to stop the vessel and allow them to examine the ship, the press service of the Murmansk regional border guard department told Itar-Tass.
As border guards reported, on September 18 and 19, the captain aboard the Arctic Sunrise, when the ship was in Russia's economic zone, ignored the lawful demands of the commander of the border guard ship Ladoga to stop the vessel for examination. After the Arctic Sunrise was towed to the northern Russian port of Murmansk, border guards, in the captain's and a translator's presence, wrote a report on the administrative offence. An inquiry was conducted, and the captain was found guilty. He is fined 20,000 rubles, the maximum for such an offence.
On September 18, the Arctic Sunrise approached the Russian oil rig in the northern sea, and environment protection activists from the ship attempted to scale the platform. Border guards stopped their operation, and the vessel was towed to the Russian port.
A court in Murmansk, following the demands of the investigators and prosecutors, ruled to arrest all the 30 activists, who were aboard the Arctic Sunrise, for two months. All the arrested people are charged with piracy.
The Russian Investigative Committee (SK) press service told Itar-Tass on Wednesday that after the examination of things and equipment from the vessel, it was established that some of the dual-purpose equipment could be used for other purposes, but not only ecological. Besides, drugs (supposedly, poppy straw and morphine) were found aboard the vessel. An inquiry is launched over the fact. An investigation is also underway to find out who intentionally rammed border guard boats. Thus, the activists' actions posed threat to lives and health of representatives of authorities, the SK noted. Given the information received in the investigation, the charge against them will be corrected. It is clear that some of the defendants will face charges of other serious crimes.