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Thor Liberty can leave, but skipper stays

A Manx-registered ship detained in Finland carrying missiles and explosives has been cleared to leave the country.

But the captain and first mate won't accompany the MS Thor Liberty for the time being, as authorities continue an investigation.

The vessel was stopped just before Christmas when port officials at Kotka, in the south of the country, found 69 patriot missiles and 150 tonnes of explosives on board.

They say the ship didn't have the right documents to transport defence material via Finland.

The Finnish authorities say the ship and her Ukrainian crew are now free to leave, following an operation to repack the explosives safely in metal containers.

That has now been completed after demolitions experts were called in and a one-kilometre safe zone thrown up around the vessel.

But law enforcement agencies in the country say they are still investigating after the missiles were seized and taken from the ship to a secure location.

Although the missiles were an official shipment from Germany to South Korea, the captain and first mate are currently being held in custody on suspicion of violating weapon export laws.

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