Eesti in brief - 2005-04-27

  • 2005-04-27
The Railway Inspectorate halted trains at five switches at the Narva station on the Estonian-Russian border, accusing Eesti Raudtee (Estonian Railway) of neglecting the railway infrastructure. Company executives said the shortcomings were eliminated in less than an hour-and-a-half and there was no significant stoppage in traffic. Inspectors discovered 10 faulty switches and pointed out that the construction permit issued to Eesti Raudtee in October last year, which provided for the possibility of modernization, met all safety requirements.

Eight thousand ribbons were tied to a fence in Narva on April 23 in memory of Red Army soldiers who fell while fighting on Estonian territory during WWII. The gesture, dubbed "Narva Against Fascism" and organized by the Russian Party in Estonia, was aimed at supporting a similar demonstration at the embassy in Moscow on April 24. Gennady Afanasyev, vice chairman of the party and a member of the Narva City Council, said the ribbons spanned the three-kilometer metal fence running along Tallinn Road, Narva's main thoroughfare.

Police arrested four men last week suspected of smuggling large amounts of amphetamines to Sweden. North District Prosecutor Rita Sinivali, who heads the investigation, said over 4 kilograms of a substance believed to be amphetamines, nearly 500 kilograms of illegal pure alcohol, a large amount of ammunition, two automatic rifles, two pistols and a revolver were seized from the suspects during the operation. The Tax and Customs Board launched a drug trafficking investigation last year after 350 grams of amphetamine was discovered in the port of Paldiski.

The criminal investigation department of Baden-Wuerttemberg imprisoned five ethnic Russians from Estonia suspected of robbing a Cartier watch store in Stuttgart. Police arrested the men, aged 24 's 27, in Frankfurt on April 20. A German police spokesman said investigators had tracked down the gang shortly after the holdup on March 2. Local authorities observed the men's movements in Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Scandinavia before the arrests were made.

Michael Roos, a 22-year-old who moved to the United States with his family in the early 1990s, has become the first ever Estonian drafted by a National Football League club. The University of Eastern Washington offensive tackle was picked 41st in the second round of the NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. Before the 2004 season, Roos graduated from the university with a double degree and had begun work on his master's. Roos was named All-America first-team and Division 1-AA offensive lineman of the year in the NFL draft report. He also garnered All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association and The Sports Network. Roos was born in Estonia in 1982 and moved to the United States with his divorced mother and her two other children in 1992.