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27/05/24

British Marine Vessel with Bulgarian Crew Hijacked in Red Sea

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s press service, quoted by the online newspaper The Times of Israel on Sunday, reported that a British ship with 25 crew members including Bulgarians has been hijacked in the Red Sea "on an Iranian whim by the Houthi militia in Yemen". The vessel leased out to a Japanese company was also carrying crew from Ukraine, Mexico and the Philippines.
The press release reads: "This is another act of Iranian terrorism which expresses a leap forward in Iranian aggression against citizens of the free world, and creates international implications when it comes to the security of global shipping routes".
Netanyahu’s office condemned the seizure of the vessel Galaxy Leader, as reported by Associated Press (AP). Ownership details in public shipping databases associated the ship’s owners with Ray Car Carriers, which was founded by Abraham “Rami” Ungar – one of the richest people in Israel. Ungar told the AP that he was aware of the case but could not comment, because he did not have details at the time.
A spokesperson for the Houthis, Yahya Saria, posted on his Telegram channel on Sunday morning that any vessel owned or operated by an Israeli company will be targeted, Reuters reported. Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted the Israeli government as denying that Galaxy Leader is an Israeli vessel.
AFP quoted a representative of the Houthis as saying that the vessel has been taken to the port of As-Salif, north of the city of Al-Hudaydah.
Bulgarian Minister of the Interior Kalin Stoyanov said on Nova TV that this incident really took place. According to unconfirmed information, two Bulgarians were sailing on board. one of them being the captain of the vessel. Stoyanov added: "We are currently investigating the situation. In any case, we are in close communication with partner services".

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