Victory! Estonia launches toxic tanker investigation

Feature story - 27 September, 2006
After three days of blockading the toxic tanker Probo Koala, we were pleased to hear that the Government of Estonia is investigating the ship, which is responsible for the deaths of at least 8 people in the Ivory Coast -- and the illnesses of thousands more, due to irresponsible dumping of toxic waste.

The "toxic tanker" Probo Koala, blockaded for three days by the Arctic Sunrise.

Our Toxics Campaigner Helen Perivier explains, "The Probo Koala is an international toxic crime scene and needs to be fully investigated to establish the full chain of culpability which led to the tragic deadly events in the Ivory Coast," she said. "Only through such an investigation can the guilty be brought to justice and the lessons learned in order to prevent this from happening again."  We were delighted to hear that the Estonian Authorities are now taking such action.

Dumping the West's waste ... in Africa

The scandal of the toxic waste dumped in the Ivory Coast first came to light on September 6 when the first casualties were reported and protests broke out on the streets of Abidjan against the government, which was blamed for allowing the dumping.  Despite this, the Korean-built, Greek-managed, Panamanian-flagged and Dutch-chartered tanker was allowed to sail freely …until we blocked it from leaving Estonia.

On the basis of preliminary results it would appear that contamination found on the Probo Koala by the Estonian Environment Ministry is similar to that which poisoned the Ivory Coast. Hopefully, Estonia will agree with the request of the Ivory Coast to continue to detain the Probo Koala as part of the ongoing Ivorian criminal investigation.

From one crime scene to another

The Arctic Sunrise, which took up position in Paldiski on Monday to prevent the imminent departure of the Probo Koala and branded it an "EU TOXIC CRIME SCENE" will now return to the Baltic to continue its work against pirate fishing, overfishing and for the establishment of marine reserves.

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