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Poison tanker still in Estonian harbor

The “best thing since Skype”?

In what could have been a National Geographic TV-adventure, Estonian authorities took control of the vessel Probo Koala as the Greenpeace Vessel Arctic Sunrise blocked the path out of the harbor. Inside the harbor, Greenpeace Toxic Patrol members painted EU Toxic Crime Scene on the hull of the Koala. Estonia’s border patrol pursued the Greenpeace painters—surely half-heartedly—but the 40 horsepower of the Estonians’ boat was no match for the 200-horse Greenpeace dingy.

The Probo Koala is wanted for dumping toxic waste in Abidjan, on the Ivory Coast, which killed seven people and caused mass panic, sending 44,000 people to seek medical attention.

The event has brought out Estonian politicians who stand proudly on the Paldiski dock and claim credit for the event. The local Estonian population seems pleased, as well. A young Estonian, reveling in the international media attention the event garnered, characterized it as “The best thing to happen to Estonia since Skype.”

Authorities say it isn’t clear yet how long the Probo Koala will be kept in the Paldiski port. The Estonian prosecutor’s office is working with Dutch and African officials.