Lost your password?
Don't have an account? Sign Up

17 Indians on ship “MSC Aries” seized by Iran off UAE coast amid tensions

Share This News Story:

TEHRAN : Iran seized a cargo ship linked to Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer on Saturday amid growing concerns about a wider Middle East war. Indian authorities are now in touch with their Iranian counterparts after learning that there are 17 citizens on board MSC Aries. Iranian state media said the ship — identified as the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries — had now been “directed towards the territorial waters” of Tehran.

“We are aware that a cargo ship ‘MSC Aries’ has been taken control of by Iran. We have learnt that there are 17 Indian nationals onboard. We are in touch with the Iranian authorities through diplomatic channels, both in Tehran and in Delhi, to ensure the security, welfare and early release of Indian nationals,” sources told.

It is learnt that the seized cargo ship MSC Aries was heading on her way to Mundra Port and was scheduled to reach on April 18.

Visuals accessed by news agency AP showed commandos from the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard rappelling down from a helicopter onto the vessel near the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday. The UK Joint Maritime Information Center said the ship was likely targeted due to its perceived Israeli affiliation. MSC Aries is a container ship associated with London-based Zodiac Maritime — a company that is part of the Zodiac Group led by Ofer.

According to Geneva-based MSC, there had been 25 crew members on board the vessel. The ship was last located off Dubai as it headed towards the Strait of Hormuz on Friday. It had turned off tracking data — now a common practice for Israeli-affiliated ships moving through the region. The company said the ship was boarded by Iranian forces at around 6:43 am (United Arab Emirates time) as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz. 

The passageway is a key chokepoint for energy shipments through which around a fifth of the world’s daily oil supply passes. Earlier this week, Tehrah had also threatened to brock the Strait of Hormuz amid rising tensions with Israel.

Share This News Story: