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


The lead investigator into the August explosion in the port of Beirut that left nearly 200 dead and thousands injured has issued arrest warrants against the captain and owner of a ship that was carrying thousands tons of ammonium nitrate in Beirut seven years ago, the 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 around 6,500 and leaving nearly 300,000 people homeless.

On Thursday, Judge Fadi Sawwan referred the case to the prosecution, which asked Interpol to detain the two Russian citizens.

The NNA did not give the names of the two men, but Boris Prokoshev was the captain who sailed the MV Rhosus from Turkey to Beirut in 2013. Igor Grechushkin, a Russian businessman residing on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus , bought the freighter in 2012 in Cyprus. Charalambos Manoli businessman.

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, have been arrested since the explosion, which is considered one of the largest non-nuclear explosions on record.

The ammonium nitrate arrived in Lebanon in September 2013, aboard a Russian freighter flying the Moldovan flag. The Rhosus, according to information from the ship-tracking site, Fleetmon, was heading from Georgia to Mozambique.

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

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 again rocked a nation struggling with its worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The economy is collapsing after decades of state waste, corruption and growing debt. The banks froze people from their savings and the currency collapsed.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is also struggling to cope with the spread of the new coronavirus.

Schools have yet to reopen after an outbreak of cases, which have risen following the explosion to more than 35,000 infections including at least 340 deaths since February 9.


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