Russian ships reportedly turned off tracking signals and faked paperwork while picking up Ukrainian grain in Crimea
- Ukrainian officials claim Russia is stealing grain from its farms and exporting it out of occupied
- The BBC and Financial Times tracked the journeys of nine bulk carriers from Crimea to
Investigations published by the Financial Times and BBC this week identified nine cargo ships docked at a sanctioned Crimea
The Kremlin denies these allegations.
"We have made our appeal for Turkey to help us and, upon the suggestion of the Turkish side, are launching criminal cases regarding those stealing and selling the grains," he said.
At least one of the ships tracked by the Financial Times faked official paperwork to indicate that it was picking up cargo from a different, unsanctioned Russian port, the outlet reported Thursday.
However, satellite imagery shows the Russian bulk carrier actually was moored at Crimea's Sevastopol port, the owners of which are sanctioned by the U.S.
From there, the ship reportedly delivered 9,000 tons of corn to a buyer in Turkey. Three of the additional vessels tracked by the Financial Times sailed from Crimea to Turkey, while four others traveled to Syria. Several of the ships turned off their tracking signals in the Black Sea, according to the investigation.
Turning off a vessel's tracking signal — also known as "going dark" or "dark activity" — has been flagged by the US Treasury as one of several practices used to evade
By turning off its location data, a ship can obscure its final destination or hide other details about a vessel's movements.
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