SUNBIZ

Hacked Goundar Clears The Air

The post cited difficulties with Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji chief executive officer, Simon Gravnell as reason for closing shop.
18 May 2021 10:38
Hacked Goundar Clears The Air
Goundar Shipping vessels at Suva’s Narain Jetty on May 17, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Goundar Shipping has suspended inter-island services on Sunday until further notice.

And it is shutting down its Facebook page, following a second incident of hacking.

Managing director George Goundar’s remarks yesterday followed a post on the company’s Facebook page which said its business was closing for good.

The post cited difficulties with Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji chief executive officer, Simon Gravnell as reason for closing shop.

“Our social media account was hacked – it’s the second in two months,” Mr Goundar said.

“We’ve lost $100,000 through hackers – from people posing as me,” he said.

“Fortunately, we recovered $60,000 of that through Canadian laws.” Mr Goundar is a Canadian citizen.

He said he had no idea why he was a target of hackers.

“We will now promote our business through the traditional local media – it’s the most dependable medium,” Mr Goundar said.

He said he was fortunate to have come out alive in a previous hacking incident in a foreign country.

“It’s that bad,” Mr Goundar said.

Goundar Shipping owner and managing director, George Goundar.

Goundar Shipping owner and managing
director, George Goundar.

The post, which was soon removed, said the company was shelving its vision for a better shipping sector.

Several attempts to reach Mr Gravnell for comment were unsuccessful.

Mr Goundar said the company’s decision to suspend services on Sunday was because the majority of businesses were closed on the day.

“Besides, there are no passengers on Sunday,” he said.

“There’s no business sense in operating an empty vessel.”

From Monday to Saturday, a Goundar Shipping departs Natovi for Nabouwalu at 10pm, and leaves Vanua Levu for the mainland at 3pm.

Patterson Shipping general manager David Patterson did not respond to queries sent to him.

The company’s Facebook page said: “We are currently only providing cargo trips to Ovalau, until normal passenger travel resumes. “

We will update our page accordingly.”

Easy Link provides daily interisland shipping service between Natovi and Nabouwau.

The MV Westerland leaves Natovi at 7pm for Nabouwalu, where it arrives at around 1.30am.

Goundar Shipping was established 10 years ago, and has 10 vessels in its fleet.

When travel restriction allows, Mr Goundar said he would fly to Japan to bring two more vessels for his fleet.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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