Ship operated by Israeli billionaire’s company attacked off Oman

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Zodiac Management says the incident involved Mercer Street, a Japanese-owned, Liberian-flagged oil tanker.

A company run by an Israeli businessman has said one of the vessels it manages has been targeted in a “suspected piracy incident” after British officials said they were investigating reports of an attack off the coast of Oman.

London-based Zodiac Management, part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group, issued a statement on Friday saying the ship was the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Mercer Street and was Japanese owned.

“At the time of the incident the vessel was in the northern Indian Ocean, travelling from Dar es Salaam to Fujairah with no cargo onboard,” it said in a Twitter post.

Our statement on the situation involving the M/T Mercer Street:

— Zodiac Maritime (@Zodiac_Maritime) July 30, 2021

It came after a short statement from the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said an investigation was under way into the incident, which it described as taking place late on Thursday northeast of the Omani island of Masirah.

The statement did not elaborate, other than to say that it suspected the attack did not involve piracy.

Satellite tracking data from showed the vessel had been near where British officials said the attack occurred.

In a statement to Al Jazeera later on Friday, a UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “We are aware of reports of an attack on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman. UK military headquarters in the region are currently conducting investigations.”

Oman did not immediately acknowledge the attack, while there was no comment by Israeli officials.



Al Jazeera and news agencies

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