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Fact Check: Viral Image Claiming Israeli Billionaire’s Cargo Ship Hit By Drone In Indian Ocean Is Fabricated


A container ship owned by an Israeli billionaire came under attack by a suspected Iranian drone in Indian Ocean as Israel wages war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, according to an American defence official. Amid this, a photo showing one burning cargo with massive flames is doing the rounds on social media. Many users on social media claim that an Israeli billionaire’s cargo ship was hit by a drone in the Indian Ocean.

A Facebook user shared this image and wrote, “An ISRAELI BILLIONAIRE’S cargo ship was just hit by a drone in the Indian Ocean.”

This Facebook post can be seen here.

It is being widely shared on Facebook and X with a similar claim.


NewsMobile fact-checked the post, and found it to be false.

Running a Reverse Image Search, the NM team spotted the viral image in a report on CNN News, dated June 13, 2019. As per the report, the viral image is from the Gulf of Oman. The caption of the image reads: “A photo released by Iranian media purports to show the fire that broke out on the Front Altair oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

The UK national daily The Guardian, dated June 15, 2019, reports that an oil tanker burned after the attack on June 13 in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran. The viral image shows the aftermath of an alleged torpedo attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. The US Navy’s fifth fleet said it was assisting the tankers, which issued distress calls near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The crew from both tankers were evacuated. The attacks occurred along one of the world’s busiest oil routes, and caused surges in the oil price. The US blamed those attacks on Iran — an accusation Tehran has denied.

Thus, it is confirmed that an old image from the Gulf of Oman has gone viral falsely claiming that an Israeli billionaire’s cargo ship was hit by a drone in the Indian Ocean.

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