Dramatic Kidnapping of Car Carrier Raises Concerns about Shipping in the Middle East

A still image from video allegedly showing the capture of the M/V Galaxy Leader.
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The Houthi group in Yemen released a video showing the dramatic kidnapping of the Galaxy Guide Car transporter in the Red Sea. The footage, shared by the Houthi movement’s Al Masirah television channel, shows armed men descending from a helicopter onto the ship, storming the ship’s bridge, and taking the crew hostage. This comes after the Houthi leader warned of potential attacks on Israel-affiliated ships in the region amid the Israel-Hamas war.

The Bermuda-flagged car and truck-only carrier (PCTC) is owned by Galaxy Maritime and managed by Ray Car Carriers, a company affiliated with Israeli businessman Rami Ungar. Japanese shipping company NYK is the charterer. The ship was not carrying any cargo, and the company is working to ensure the safe return of all 25 crew members on board. The ISM manager is Stamco Ship Management, based in Greece. The capture of the Galaxy Guide has reignited fears about shipping in the Middle East.

The Houthi group’s capture of the Galaxy Guide underscores the ongoing security risks faced by shipping in the Middle East. With the threat of attacks on Israel-affiliated ships, tensions in the region are heightened, and companies are working to ensure the safety of their vessels and crew. The situation highlights the complex geopolitical dynamics and potential dangers that maritime operations face in the area.

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