Home / World / Lebanon asks Interpol to arrest two Russians for the Beirut explosion | Middle East

Lebanon asks Interpol to arrest two Russians for the Beirut explosion | Middle East

Interpol has asked to detain the captain and the owner of the ship which seven years ago was transporting thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate to Beirut.

The lead investigator of the August explosion in the port of Beirut that killed nearly 200 people and injured thousands, issued arrest warrants for the captain and owner of a ship that transported thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate to Beirut seven years ago, the state-run national news agency. (NNA) said.

Nearly 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the port of Beirut exploded on August 4, killing 193 people, injuring about 6,500 and leaving nearly 300,000 homeless.

On Thursday, Judge Fadi Sawwan referred the case to the prosecutor who asked Interpol to arrest the two Russian citizens.

The NNA did not provide the names of the two men, but Boris Prokoshev was the captain who sailed the MV Rhosus from Turkey to Beirut in 201

3. Igor Grechushkin, a Russian businessman residing on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, bought the cargo ship in 2012 by Cypriot businessman Charalambos Manoli.

Grechushkin was questioned by police at the request of the Interpol office in Lebanon in August.

More than two dozen people, most of them port and customs officials, were arrested after the blast, considered one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded.

Ammonium nitrate arrived in Lebanon in September 2013, aboard a Russian-owned merchant ship flying the Moldovan flag. The Rhosus, according to information from the ship’s location site, Fleetmon, was on its way from Georgia to Mozambique.

The cargo was then unloaded and placed in Hangar 12 in the port of Beirut, a large gray structure overlooking the country’s main north-south highway at the capital’s main entrance.

The ammonium nitrate remained in the warehouse until it exploded. The Rhosus never left the port and sank there in February 2018, according to official Lebanese documents.

The explosion further rocked a nation grappling with its worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The economy is collapsing after decades of state waste, corruption and escalating debt. Banks blocked people from their savings and the currency plummeted.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is also struggling to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Schools have not yet reopened after a spike in cases, which have increased in the wake of the explosion to over 35,000 infections, of which at least 340 have died since February 9.

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