Lebanon asked Interpol to arrest two Russians over Beerut blast. Middle East


Interpol asked the captain and shipowner to be detained, who delivered thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate to Beirut seven years ago.

The August explosion at the port of Beirut killed about 200 people and injured thousands. Seven years ago arrest warrants were issued for the captain and owner of a ship carrying thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate in Beirut. (NNA) said.

On August 4, 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of Beirut exploded, killing 193, injuring about 6,500 and rendering nearly 300,000 people homeless.

On Thursday, Judge Fadi Sawan referred the case to state prosecutors who asked Interpol to take two Russian nationals into custody.

The NNA did not name the two men, but Boris Prokoshev was the captain, who departed MV Rosas from Turkey in 2013 in Beirut. Igor Grechuskin, a Russian businessman living in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, bought the cargo ship from Cyprus in 2012. Merchant Charalambos Manali.

In August, Grechskin was questioned by police at the request of Interpol’s Lebanese office.

More than two dozen people, most of them port and customs officials, have been detained since the explosion, which is believed to be one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded.

Ammonium nitrate arrived in Lebanon in September 2013 while flying in a Russian-owned cargo ship with the Moldovan flag. Rosas was going from Fleetmon, Georgia to Mozambique, according to information from the ship-tracking site.

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

The ammonium nitrate remained in the warehouse until the explosion occurred. According to official Lebanese documents, Rosas never left the port and sank there in February 2018.

The explosion troubled a country struggling with its worst crisis since the Civil War of 1975–1990.

The economy is collapsing after decades of state waste, corruption and rising debt. Banks have removed people from their savings and the currency has crashed.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is also struggling to cope with the proliferation of novel coronaviruses.

Schools have yet to reopen after a spike in cases that have escalated in the wake of the explosion to more than 35,000 infections, including at least 340 deaths since 9 February.