The oil tanker Pacific Zircon which sails under a Liberian flag, is operated by the Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping and is owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer, was hit Tuesday night by a bomber drone off the coast of Oman. The vessel departed from Sohar, Oman on Monday and was sailing at 11.8 knots and heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The US Fifth Fleet announced they are aware of the incident in the Gulf of Oman, adding that although its origin is not yet known, the explanation is that the attack was intended to harm the World Cup that’s expected to start in nearby Qatar in four days.
Nevertheless, Haaretz cited senior Israeli security officials who accused Iran of attacking the oil tanker, noting it was a strategic mistake on Tehran’s part since there were no Israeli citizens on board the ship.
The Iranian Mehr News agency cited an informed official on condition of anonymity who stated the attack was carried out using suicide drones.
Eastern Pacific Shipping issued a statement saying the Pacific Zircon was hit by a missile about 240 km off the coast of Oman, adding: “We are in contact with the vessel and there are no reports of injuries or contamination. All crew members are safe. There is slight damage to the hull of the vessel, but no leakage of cargo or ingress of water.”
Idan Ofer, 67, is an Israeli billionaire businessman and philanthropist, with interests in shipping, energy, mining, and sports. He is the founder of Eastern Pacific Shipping, and the principal of the Quantum Pacific Group, a holding company. He is the majority shareholder of the Israel Corporation, listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, as well as Kenon Holdings, listed on the Tel Aviv and New York Stock Exchange. He is also the owner of the Israeli holding company Lynav Holdings and the Dutch-based Ansonia Holdings. As of August 2022, his net worth was estimated at $11.0 billion.