Estonian officials hold toxic ship

  • 2006-10-02
  • By TBT staff
Estonia's Justice Minister Rein Lang said the Panamanian-flagged tanker Probo Koala would remain impounded at the Paldiski port until not a vestige of doubt remained about its safety.

The Probo Koala is currently under investigation following a toxic waste scandal in the African nation of Ivory Coast. Officials from the Ivory Coast are due to arrive in Estonia this week to inspect the Greek owned, Dutch chartered ship, which is believed responsible for dumping waste in the city of Abidjan, causing the deaths of at least eight people and making tens of thousands ill.

"We cannot allow a ship carrying toxic substances to leave Estonia for destinations unknown," Lang said.
State prosecutor Norman Aas met with his Dutch colleagues in the Norwegian capital Oslo on Sept. 28 to discuss the Probo Koala, and prosecutor Alar Kirs who is in charge of the criminal probe launched in Estonia had consultations with Dutch prosecutors and investigators in the Netherlands on Sept. 29.

According to Kirs, the Dutch officials have already carried out an extensive inquiry into the ship and the Dutch company that chartered it, and further investigation in Estonia will be conducted in close cooperation with the Dutch authorities.
"We're getting very effective assistance from Eurojust, and Greek officials have been brought in, too," said Kirs.