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Thread: 'Patriot missiles' on China-bound ship

  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default 'Patriot missiles' on China-bound ship

    A curious story, headlined 'Finland 'finds Patriot missiles' on China-bound ship':http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16292244

    The Finnish authorities have impounded an Isle of Man-flagged ship bound for China with undeclared missiles and explosives, officials say.

    Police are questioning the crew of the MS Thor Liberty after what were described as 69 Patriot anti-missile missiles were found aboard.

    Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen said the missiles were marked "fireworks".
    Well I expect there will be "fireworks" on this matter if true.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    If it is true, there may be fireworks but we'll never hear about it. It would be too embarrassing to whoever lost them. If it isn't true, then we will hear that it was all a big misunderstanding over mortar shells or something. Come to think of it, we would probably hear that if it was true.

    If it is true that would have almost been a really cool caper, like the time we borrowed a Polish fighter jet or the time the Russian agent carried off a Sidewinder missile in I think a VW, with part of it poking out a window.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default The news on this end of the pond

    Local news indicates there are over 150 metric tons of explosives and 69 surface to air missiles on board.

    The port authorities are quoted as stating the vessel's ultimate destination is China, but the cargo in question, appears to be perfectly legal and destined for South Korea.

    The Finns impounded the ship because it did not have authority to transport explosives and missiles via Finland. One dock worker explained that the explosives were inappropriately packed.

    The Finns must have some real anal (and educated) dock workers. Taking a trip to Dundalk in Baltimore to retrieve my POV was a rude awakening

    For those with Estonian language background, the link is here.
    Last edited by Stan; 12-22-2011 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Added link
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  4. #4
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    More mystery and intrigue from Finland

    Shroud of mystery surrounds missile shipment
    updated today Dec 22 03:28 PM

    Not only is the final intended destination of the 69 American-made Patriot missiles still unclear, it is being asked why such a valuable cargo was poorly packed and shipped with faulty documents. The Finnish Defence Fores will move the impounded missiles to a safe but so far unknown location.
    Pilot: Missile ship was in trouble in storm
    published today Dec 22 06:42 AM, updated today Dec 22 10:53 AM

    Cargo loose in the hold?

    The pilot says he was informed by officials on the mainland that the Thor Liberty was carrying some kind of explosives. He adds he after the ship anchored at Nötö, he saw pictures showing that some of the crates holding the explosives had become dislodged and been tossed around in the hold.

    Wikberg says the crew should have informed him that there were missiles aboard.

    "On the other hand, I can certainly understand that since this now seems to have been some kind of suspicious cargo, that that's why the crew did not tell me about it," Wikberg said.

    Among the issues to be determined are who owns the high-tech weapons discovered aboard the Thor Liberty and where they were headed. The authorities are also trying to determine, in cooperation with the Defence Forces, if the missiles are to be formally classified as military materials or fall into some other category.
    More at the links (in English !)
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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Why on earth would they ship very high tech missiles like Patriots via a cargo ship that meanders here and there on the way? Air freight would seem rather more secure.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default Syyta saksalaiset

    When in doubt, blame the Germans !

    From Sanomat:

    Torstaina Itävallan yleisradioyhti raportoi lastin olleen Saksan hallituksen laillinen toimitus Etelä-Koreaan.
    Roughly: Thursday, Radio Austria reported that the shipment was a German government approved (legal) delivery to South Korea.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 12-22-2011 at 06:03 PM.

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Why on earth would they ship very high tech missiles like Patriots via a cargo ship that meanders here and there on the way? Air freight would seem rather more secure.
    Shipping sensitive stuff on ships under false declaration is surprisingly common. Germany had some embarrassing incidents like this before.
    I remember an early 90's export of Soviet-made MBTs to Israel which was IIRC utterly illegal and got our intelligence service BND into trouble when customs officers blew it. Back then, the tanks were supposed to be 'agricultural tractors'.

  8. #8
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Why on earth would they ship very high tech missiles like Patriots via a cargo ship that meanders here and there on the way? Air freight would seem rather more secure.
    Hey Carl,
    Not sure the Finnish Army has determined these are Patriots. If they were and included things like the prime mover, radar set, launcher and power, we would need several C5s to move all that Sierra

    I'm hoping Mike has some strong (sneaky) Finnish contacts and he will reveal all before Christmas
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  9. #9
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Lost in translation

    From Finnish news YLE

    As skilled as the Finnish dock workers are, someone managed to translate "rockets" into "fireworks"

    German officials have confirmed that the 69 Patriot missiles impounded in Kotka Harbour were loaded in the northern German port of Emden. They were part of an official German government consignment en route to South Korea. The missiles were listed on the manifest as "rockets", which Kotka port officials misinterpreted as meaning "fireworks".

    German Defence Ministry officials added customs documentation was in accordance with local regulations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    From Finnish news YLE

    As skilled as the Finnish dock workers are, someone managed to translate "rockets" into "fireworks"
    I'm waiting with baited breath for all the original media reports about the US sending Patriots to China to get corrected.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  11. #11
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    I'm waiting with baited breath for all the original media reports about the US sending Patriots to China to get corrected.


    I'm doing my part - just attacked two bloggers
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  12. #12
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Finns seize cargo, ship can leave minus captain

    An AP update:http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011...html?ref=world

    A good illustration of the maritime world: a British registered vessel, with Ukrainian crew, with German patriot missiles for South Korea aboard, needs Finnish anchor chains and carries explosives for China.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A good illustration of the maritime world: a British registered vessel, with Ukrainian crew, with German patriot missiles for South Korea aboard, needs Finnish anchor chains and carries explosives for China.
    A great summation - you should sell it to Tom Friedman to use in his next book.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  14. #14
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    The Finnish Transport Safety Agency has rescinded an impoundment order


    Explosives in their original packaging materials have now been placed in containers. Officials confiscated around 1,000 kilos of poorly packaged explosives.

    During an inspection carried out on Boxing Day, the agency gave the green light for releasing the vessel after determining that all poorly packaged explosives were off the ship.

    However, the Manx flagged vessel cannot yet set sail as customs officials are keeping some of the explosives in dock. In addition, a travel ban still affects both the ship’s Ukranian captain and first mate pending an investigation into the explosives cargo.
    Seems the Chinese will only get about 159,000 kilos of explosives !
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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default The conspiracy is over - Again !

    Helsinki OKs Patriot Missile Shipment to S. Korea

    Sixty-nine Patriot missiles impounded in Finland after being found on a merchant vessel in mid-December were headed for South Korea, the Finnish government said Jan. 4, granting their transit through Finnish territory.

    "The missiles in question had been sold to the Republic of Korea by Germany," the government said in a statement, adding that it had granted a license to Seoul's "Defense Acquisition Program Administration to transit through Finnish territory 69 Patriot missiles."
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