An Israeli businessman’s company said one of the vessels it runs was targeted in a “suspected piracy incident” after British officials indicated they were investigating claims of an attack off the coast of Oman, Al Jazeera reported.
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, traveling from Dar es Salaam to Fujairah with no cargo on board,” it said in a Twitter post.
It came after the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations issued a brief statement saying that an inquiry into the incident, which occurred late Thursday northeast of the Omani island of Masirah, was underway.
The statement did not go into much detail, other than to indicate that it did not think the incident was related to piracy.
MarineTraffic.com satellite tracking data showed the vessel was close where British officials believed the incident took place.
“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,” a spokeswoman for the UK Ministry of Defence told Al Jazeera later on Friday.
Oman did not immediately acknowledge the strike, and Israeli officials did not respond.