Swedish investigators find evidence of ‘serious sabotage’ on Nord Stream pipelines

Oct. 7, 2022
Swedish prosecutor says that “seizures have been made at the crime scene and these will now be investigated.”

Offshore staff

STOCKHOLM/OSLO – A Swedish agency on Thursday found that leaks from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea were likely caused by “serious sabotage” and said that evidence from the site had been taken.

The Swedish Security Service confirmed that “detonations” were responsible for the extensive damage to the subsea pipelines last week. Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden have also said that the damage was not of natural origin, saying that blasts most likely were the cause.

“During the crime scene investigation … seizures have been made,” said the Security Service. “As part of the work,” it added in a statement, “the seizures will now be reviewed and analyzed.”

“The continued preliminary investigation must show whether someone can be served with suspicion and later prosecuted,” Sweden’s Security Service said in a statement, adding the blasts are a “very serious” development.

In a separate statement, Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said “seizures have been made at the crime scene and these will now be investigated.” Ljungqvist, who led the preliminary investigation, did not identify the seized evidence. Ljungqvist said he had given “directives to temporarily block (the area) and carry out a crime scene investigation.”

Now that the initial probe is completed, a blockade around the pipelines off Sweden will be lifted, Swedish officials also said Thursday.

The governments of Denmark and Sweden previously said they suspected that several hundred pounds of explosives were involved in carrying out a deliberate act of sabotage. The leaks from Nord Stream 1 and 2 discharged large amounts of methane into the air.

Danish authorities said the two methane leaks they were monitoring in international waters stopped over the weekend. One of the leaks off Sweden also appeared to have ended.

Officials in the European Union have publicly suspected sabotage, namely as the incident comes in the midst of an energy standoff between the EU, Germany, and Moscow. No nation-state or group has claimed responsibility for the blasts.