Two ships have been impounded by Dubai authorities in relation to a series of submarine cable cuts which wreaked havoc on Indian and Middle Eastern service earlier this year.
It was confirmed yesterday that the Dubai Port Trust has impounded the MV Hounslow and MT Ann on suspicion of causing breakages to the Reliance Globalcom Flag Europe-Asia cable, which was damaged along with the SEA-ME-WE 4 and Falcon cables in early February.
An official from Reliance Globalcom said the company had given the details of the two ships to Dubai authorities after studying satellite imagery of ship movements around the breakage area, according to Indian newspaper The Hindu.
“The matter has been brought to the notice of appropriate authorities which are taking necessary action,” the official said.
The owners and captains of the two ships are set to be questioned in Dubai over the incident.
In early February, four Middle Eastern undersea cables suffered service disruptions over a five-day period, sparking a rash of unfounded conspiracy theories blaming groups from Islamic extremists to the US Secret Service.
SEA-ME-WE 4 and Flag were severed off Alexandria in Egypt, while the Falcon system was hit in the Persian Gulf between the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Another unnamed cable suffered outages between Qatar and the UAE. ISPs in India reported bandwidth cuts between 50 and 60 per cent after the cable cuts.
At the time of the cuts, a Flag spokesperson said that ships in Alexandria had been asked to anchor in a different place to normal, around 8.4km off the beach. The company said an anchor had cut the Flag cable but reported multiple cuts causing problems to a number of other companies.
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