Police identify body found in trawler’s nets

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Police in Troms, Northern Norway, have finally identified the body of a man found in the nets of a Norwegian trawler when it was fishing in international waters southeast of Svalbard early last month.

After failing to find the man’s fingerprints in any Norwegian registers, investigators sought help from abroad. They’ve now established that he was a foreign seafarer who had been in the sea “for several years,” investigator Ståle Luther of the Troms Police District told state broadcaster NRK.

After determining that there were no missing Norwegian seafarers in the area, the police searched through earlier accident and missing persons reports and border crossings. “We had some theories about who he was and requested fingerprints from foreign police authorities that we could compare with those in Norway,” Luther told NRK.

They then found a match but are not releasing the man’s name publicly pending notification of next of kin. Newspaper Dagbladet reported that a man disappeared overboard from a Russian snowcrabbing vessel in the area in April 2016, just 1.7 kilometers from where the body was found this past month. Police wouldn’t confirm whether it was the same man.

The portion of the Barents Sea where the body was found is called Smutthullet, an international area bordering on both the Russian and Norwegian economic zones and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard that’s administered by Norway. It covers an area of 67,000 square kilometers.

newsinenglish.no staff