Drugs Reportedly Found on Greenpeace Ship

Russia reports 'hard drugs' on seized vessel

The Greenpeace ship approaching the Arctic Sea oil rig.     Photo: Denis Sinyakov(Greenpeace)/Flickr

During a search of the seized Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, Russian authorities claim to have found hard drugs including poppy straw and morphine. Greenpeace immediately fired back in a statement suggesting that the Russian findings were a "smear" reports BBC News.

The Greenpeace International ship and crew were seized during a protest surrounding an Arctic Sea oil platform on September 17. Thirty crew members continue to be held in the Russian port town of Murmansk under charges of "piracy".

Greenpeace and the Netherlands (the Artic Sunrise sails under the Dutch flag) say they are furious about the Russian claims and demand the immediate release of the crew and its ship. However, according to BBC News, the charges against some of the thirty crewmembers may change with the new drug evidence.

In addition to the drug findings, Russian authorities are claiming Greenpeace crewmembers were "deliberately ramming" Russian border guard boats and endangering their lives during the September protest. Greenpeace's statement responded to those claims as "bogus" and the organization released a slow-motion video of the incident on YouTube.

Greenpeace International's executive director, Kumi Naidoo, released a letter yesterday imploring the Russians for the release of the Arctic Sunrise and its crew. A section of that letter read "I am willing to move my life to Russia for the duration of this affair. I would offer myself as a guarantor for the good conduct of the Greenpeace activists, were they to be released on bail."

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