Tanker damaged as Arab coalition foils Houthi shipping attack

Tanker damaged as Arab coalition foils Houthi shipping attack
Arab coalition says a commercial vessel suffered minor damage from shrapnel as attack was foiled. (SPA/File)
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Updated 26 November 2020

Tanker damaged as Arab coalition foils Houthi shipping attack

Tanker damaged as Arab coalition foils Houthi shipping attack
  • Greek managers say explosion blew a hole in tanker while at birth in Shuqaiq
  • Vessel suffered minor damage from shrapnel as explosives-laden attack boat destroyed

LONDON: A Greek tanker was damaged by an explosion as the Arab coalition foiled a Houthi attack at a Saudi shipping terminal on Wednesday.

The coalition said it had destroyed an explosives-laden boat and foiled the attack in the southern Red Sea.

The commercial vessel suffered minor damage from shrapnel as the terror attack was foiled, the coalition said.

Hostile actions carried out by the Houthi militia threaten shipping lanes and global trade, the coalition added.

Later on Wednesday, the coalition said that it had destroyed a naval mine planted by the Houthis in the southern Red Sea.

The Greek managers of the tanker Agrari said an explosion damaged the ship at a Saudi Arabian Red Sea terminal just north of the Yemen border.

TMS Tankers said the Maltese-flagged vessel was “attacked by an unknown source” while at berth in Shuqaiq  after it had completed discharging and was preparing to depart.

“The Agrari was struck about one meter above the waterline and has suffered a breach,” TMS Tankers said. “It has been confirmed that the crew are safe and there have been no injuries. No pollution has been reported. The vessel is in ballast condition and stable,” the company said.

The attack is the latest against Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and shipping in the Red Sea blamed on the Iran-backed Houthis.

On Monday, the the militants hit a petroleum products distribution plant in Jeddah with a missile. The attack received global condemnation and the coalition vowed to take action against those responsible.

*With Reuters


Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details. (shutterstock)
Updated 18 January 2021

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
  • The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers

JEDDAH: Fraudsters have developed a new scam, contacting residents in Saudi Arabia and pretending to be bank staffers requesting customer details.
A number of Arab News staff have received such calls in recent weeks. One caller spoke Urdu while two other callers posing as senior officials from the headquarters of the bank spoke in English and Arabic with a local accent.
They used phone numbers that appeared to be local numbers but upon calling back, the lines failed to connect.
The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.
Speaking to Arab News, Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi banks, said: “Saudi banks represented by the Media and Banking Awareness Committee have repeatedly warned bank customers not to react to stray phone calls of any kind coming from unknown sources that ask to update their banking record or personal information.” He further confirmed that banks do not request such information through phone calls or SMS messages.
Mohammed Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at the King Saud University in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Phishing, an online scam which targets users through emails where individuals are encouraged to click on a link that takes them to fraudulent sites, was troubling people. Now it’s a different kind of scam known as ‘vishing,’ over-the-phone phishing, where scammers persuade users to share their banking information by impersonating a bank official.”

HIGHLIGHT

The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.

Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details.
Sharing his experience Zafar Hasan, an e-learning consultant in Riyadh, said: “I received a call from someone on an unknown mobile number who introduced himself as a bank employee and told me that my ATM card was going to be blocked. It required an immediate update so I should give my Iqama number (residence permit number) and sixteen-digit ATM card number. I felt something was fishy, so I told him that I would go personally to the bank to update the card.”
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers.
SAMA called on bank customers to take information only from the official channels of the bodies regulating the Kingdom’s financial and investment sectors and inform the competent security authorities about such fraudulent attempts.