|Under arrest at Murmansk, Russia|
|The Russian drill rig involved|
|Greenpeace RHIB alongside the Russian drill rig|
|Peter Willcox, Master of MS Arctic Sunrise and MM&P member.|
According to the European Media reports this morning the Russians are preferring drug charges against the Greenpeace ship MS Arctic Sunrise crew. Russian investigators say they have found poppy straw and morphine on board the vessel. These can be used to produce heroin, however the morphine is claimed by Greenpeace to be part of the ships medical supplies. NAUTICAL LOG believes the carriage of morphine is restricted in accordance with the level of medical expertise and necessity on board a vessel as per MSN 1768 (M+F) MCA, UK.
While the Netherlands - which has a liberal national drug policy - has demanded the immediate release of the ship which is Dutch flagged and its crew it is not that simple. The crew come from 18 different Nations so there is international interest.
No doubt the Russians are looking at every little thing to increase the charges - with 15 year punishments - against the ship and its crew but Greenpeace must accept that they have left themselves wide open to the Russian law enforcement authorities by violating both Russian national law and International maritime law (UNCLOS).