Egypt denies Israeli firm securing Suez Canal

Ahram Online, Wednesday 6 Nov 2013

Officials deny that an Israeli security company has a permit to secure the Suez Canal; website of the Israeli company down after media reports claim the company operates in Red Sea waters

Photo from Seagull Maritime Security Community Facebook Page.

Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority denied Wednesday allegations that Egyptian authorities gave permission to Israeli firm Maritime Seagull Security to secure ships in the Red Sea.

The Canal Authority insisted seven Egyptian security and military bodies only are in charge of securing the sea passage. 

News that the Israeli company operates in the area based on an "official" permit using fully-armed personnel on the Egyptian island of Tiran in the Red Sea went viral on social media, Al-Jazeera reported.

The Al-Jazeera story is based on a report by a UK based NGO, the Arab Organisation for Human Rights, which was published on Tuesday.

After the news spread, the company’s website on the Internet was blocked and its Facebook account became inaccessible to regular users.

However, on the website of a Seagull Security partner, the Nigeria-based Trinity Services Limited, some information could still be found about the Israeli company.

According to the Trinity website, Seagull Maritime Security Ltd was founded in 2008 by Kfir Magen, an Israeli Navy commando veteran, "to address maritime security threats and to supply high quality professional service based on the elite Israeli commando force knowhow."

The company is registered in Israel and Cyprus and is a subsidiary of the Shahaf Security Group, another security company in Israel.

On Linkedin, Seagull specifies that "it offers security and anti-piracy services for vessels transiting the high risk areas of the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea."

Short link: