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05:22 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Arctic Sea cargo vessel to set sail once more

Russia
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The Arctic Sea cargo vessel which was hijacked last year will take to the seas again in February, the Russian Seafarers' Union said on Friday.

The Arctic Sea cargo vessel which was hijacked last year will take to the seas again in February, the Russian Seafarers' Union said on Friday.

"The Arctic Sea cargo vessel's captain will return to the vessel and in February he will set sail again," the statement said, adding that most of the crew who were on board the ship when it was seized would be joining him.

The Finnish-owned, Maltese-flagged vessel disappeared in the Atlantic on July 24 while carrying a $2 million shipment of timber from Finland to Algeria.

It was eventually intercepted by the Russian Navy off West Africa on August 16, when eight alleged hijackers from Estonia, Latvia and Russia were arrested.

The ship's disappearance, which triggered a major international search effort, raised suspicions that it was carrying a "secret cargo" of drugs or weapons. Russian authorities have denied the rumors, saying the vessel was hijacked by criminals who demanded a ransom.

The freighter was handed over to Maltese authorities in late October.

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti)