Estonia Names Chinese Ship as Suspect in Telecoms Cables Damage

Chinese ship NewNew Polar Bear (previously known as Baltic Fulmar) in 2020. (Photo: Alf van Beem)
Chinese ship NewNew Polar Bear (previously known as Baltic Fulmar) in 2020. (Photo: Alf van Beem)

Estonia's prosecutor general said on Friday that the Hong Kong-registered NewNew Polar Bear container vessel was the primary suspect in an investigation of damage to two subsea telecoms cables linking Estonia to Finland and Sweden. 

"We prepared a legal assistance request to China so that the local law enforcement authorities would perform the procedural operations, primarily those connected to the vessel and its crew," State Prosecutor Triinu Olev said in a statement. 

The two cables were damaged on Oct 7-8. Finland, which is investigating damage to a gas pipeline between it and Estonia on the same night, has named the same vessel as the main suspect. Finland's foreign minister said China had promised full cooperation with their investigation. 

(Reuters - Reporting by Andrius Sytas, editing by Terje Solsvik and Christina Fincher)

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