A large container ship has run aground in Egypt's Suez Canal after being blown off course by a "gust of wind," causing a massive traffic jam of vessels at either end of one of the most important shipping routes in the world.
The 200,000-tonne, 400-metre-long vessel, called Ever Given, became stuck on Tuesday near the southern end of the canal, which links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. Several tug boats are now being used to aid the Rotterdam-bound vessel.
Human Trafficking Conspiracy Theory
The incident has now fueled a wild conspiracy theory claiming that the likes of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are involved in a human trafficking operation. Some social media users pointed out that Ever Given is operated by Evergreen Marine Corp, a Taiwanese shipping company that is allegedly linked to sex trafficking and Clinton's Secret Service code name was "evergreen."
They also drew attention to the fact that according to vesselfinder.com the ship's call sign is listed as "H3RC," which they claim is an abbreviation for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Tug Boats Named After Mossad, Obama
Another user shared that the tug boats helping Ever Given out of the waterway were called MOSAED and BARAKA1, which are alleged references to MOSSAD and Obama, insinuating that the vessel was being used as a front for human trafficking and several high-profile people were involved.
We can confirm that this conspiracy theory is unfounded and baseless. Evergreen Marine Corp., a company based in Taipei, works with the Phoenician Maritime Agency to ship cargo to Beirut. There is no evidence that it is involved in a human trafficking operation.
A similar conspiracy theory, called Pizzagate, which surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign, has also already been debunked. The theory claimed WikiLeaks emails uncovered a child sex trafficking ring run by then-Democratic presidential candidate Clinton from the basement of a Washington, D.C.-based pizza restaurant.
The conspiracy theory was a by-product of the far-right QAnon conspiracy that claims an elite group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles, including Clinton and Obama, are involved in a global child sex-trafficking ring.
This is not the first time a human trafficking conspiracy theory involving Clinton and an "Evergreen" container ship has been floated on social media. A similar rumor was circulated following the Beirut explosion in August 2020. Fact-checking website Politifact flagged the claim as "false."