Inspenet, November 17, 2023.
The Finnish authorities confirmed this Friday that the anchor recovered from the sea, related to the supply leak detected in early October in the Balticconnector gas pipeline that connects with Estonia, belongs to the Chinese ship “Newnew Polar Bear”.
The anchor, more than two meters high and two meters wide, with an approximate thickness of one meter, was recovered on October 24 by researchers and has been identified as part of the equipment of the intercontinental ship “Newnew Polar Bear”, registered in Hong Kong. However, it is still unclear whether the leak was an accident or intentional.
“ It has been discovered that the anchor in question has the same type of paint as the damaged gas pipe ,” said Risto Lohi, the crime commissioner leading the investigation, as reported in a statement by the Finnish Police.
Likewise, it has been clarified that they are in communication with the Chinese authorities and have initiated a process to gather information and strengthen international cooperation with the purpose of advancing the investigation. In October, the Finnish National Investigation Bureau (KRP) already indicated that the Chinese vessel was the main line of investigation, after investigators identified a trace on the seabed coming from an anchor.
The “Newnew Polar Bear” was located in the area of the Balticconnector leak on the day of the incident and Finnish maritime authorities reported that the ship did not respond to calls after the incident. The operating companies warned on October 8 about an unexpected decrease in pressure in the underwater gas pipeline, which has led to current investigations to determine if it could have been the result of some intentional action, as occurred at the time with the sabotage of the Nord Stream.
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