Tanker owned by Israeli billionaire ‘hijacked’ near Yemen with 22 on board as US Navy ‘engage’ after rebel threat

Tanker owned by Israeli billionaire ‘hijacked’ near Yemen with 22 on board as US Navy ‘engage’ after rebel threat

A TANKER owned by an Israeli billionaire was reportedly hijacked off the coast of Yemen today with 22 crew members on board.

It comes after Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who targeted another Israeli-owned ship last week, apparently threatened to attack the vessel.

Central Park (pictured) is owned and managed by a company belonging to Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer

GettyJust last week another Israeli owned ship was ambushed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels who stormed the desk with guns[/caption]

GettyThe Galaxy Leader was attacked last week when Houthi rebels landed onboard in a chopper[/caption]

The US navy has reportedly engaged in the area as other ships have been warned to avoid the surrounding waters after the Central Park was seized.

It is not completely clear yet who was behind the attack in the Aden Gulf, although according to reports Iran-backed Houthi rebels did threaten the ship if it did not divert to a different port.

And the company who manage the ship described it as “a suspected piracy incident”, according to WNKY.

UK military issued a warning to sailors nearby that “two black-and-white craft carrying eight persons in military-style clothing”, had been spotted in the area.

The surrounding waters are controlled by Yemen’s government which has battled Iran-backed Houthi rebels for years.

Just last week another Israeli-owned cargo ship was hijacked by the Iran-backed militia in the Red Sea.

Chilling footage showed a chopper landing on the cargo carrier before several gunmen made their mad dash on board.

The Houthi militants stormed the desk and held the international crew of 25 at gunpoint during the brutal attack.

Specific ownership of ships can be difficult to discern due to different companies owning stakes in or leasing out the vessels.

But reports suggest Central Park is owned by the London-based Zodiac Maritime company, which is part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group.

Zodiac said in a statement: “Our priority is the safety of our 22 crew onboard.”

The sailors on the besieged ship include Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Indian, Georgian and Filipino nationals.

It is apparently carrying phosphoric acid.

Zodiac Maritime has also been targeted before amid conflict between Iran and Israel.

Two crew members were killed on board one of Zodiac’s other ships, Mercer Street, in 2021.

The US identified the deadly drone attack to have come from Iran.

The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, who issued the warning about eight people in military-style gear, later said radio reports implied an attack had occurred on the Central Park.

GettyIran-backed Houthi rebels apparently threatened the Central Park hours before the attack[/caption]

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *