The mystery began on July 24, when the 15 crew members of the Arctic Sea said they were tied up and beaten by a group of up to 10 men who boarded the ship off the Swedish island of Oland. The masked men identified themselves as police officers -- but Swedish police said they hadn't been searching ships in that area.
Swedish police investigator Ingemar Isaksson said the crew then claimed that the men left the ship 12 hours later in a high-speed inflatable boat.
"We were very puzzled when we first heard about this," Isaksson said then. "I have never heard of anything like this in Swedish waters."
Ship Passes Through Channel and Then Disappears [The New York Times]