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World Lebanon asks Interpol to arrest Russian ship captain, owner over port explosion

01:35  02 october  2020
01:35  02 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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A Russian ship 's cargo of dangerous ammonium nitrate was stranded in Beirut port for years. That's when the ship 's owner told the Russian and Ukrainian sailors that he had run out of money and Photos: Huge explosion rocks Beirut. A Lebanese army helicopter flies over Beirut on Wednesday.

Lebanon ’s director of customs, Badri Daher, repeatedly sent letters to the judiciary over the years Beirut explosion leaves 300,000 homeless, lebanese port officials under Daher repeatedly asked officials to remove the ammonium nitrate from the port because it posed a

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon has asked Interpol to issue arrest warrants for the Russian captain and owner of the ship that brought the explosive material that detonated at Beirut port in August, killing nearly 200 people, state media reported on Thursday.

a group of people standing on a beach: FILE PHOTO: Damaged site of the massive blast in Beirut's port area © Reuters/GONZALO FUENTES FILE PHOTO: Damaged site of the massive blast in Beirut's port area

About two months after the explosion that injured thousands and ravaged the Lebanese capital, questions remain about why and how the cargo was abandoned in Beirut.

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The Lebanese government has resigned amid growing public anger following a devastating explosion in Beirut on 4 August that killed at least 200 people and injured The disaster was preceded by a large fire at the Port of Beirut, on the city's northern Mediterranean coast. In videos posted on social media.

Captain Boris Prokoshev and crew members demand their release from the arrested cargo vessel In interviews with Russian media on Tuesday night, the captain of the vessel described how The first time was before the businessman took ownership of the ship , and was inspecting it in Lanarka port .

Authorities have blamed it on the huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, used for fertiliser but also for explosives, going up in flames after being stored in poor conditions at the port for years.

There have also been accusations of negligence against Lebanese authorities. Nearly 20 people have been detained in Lebanon after the blast including port and customs officials.

Lebanon's public prosecution asked Interpol to issue warrants to detain the owner and captain, state news agency NNA said on Thursday, without naming them.

Boris Prokoshev was captain of the Rhosus ship when it arrived in Beirut in 2013, and he had identified Igor Grechushkin, a Russian businessman in Cyprus, as the owner. A security source and a judicial source said they were the two for whom Lebanon asked for arrest warrants on Thursday.

Lebanon asks Interpol to detain 2 Russians over port blast

  Lebanon asks Interpol to detain 2 Russians over port blast BEIRUT (AP) — The lead investigator into the August blast at Beirut’s port that killed and wounded many people issued two arrest warrants Thursday for the captain and owner of a ship that carried thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate to Beirut seven years ago, the state-run National News Agency said. Nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrates stored at Beirut’s port exploded on Aug. 4, killing 193, wounding about 6,500 and causing damage worth billions of dollars. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Lebanon will impose a two-week lockdown to contain a surge in coronavirus infections following the devastating explosion in Beirut two weeks ago. Six major hospitals and 20 clinics sustained partial or heavy structural damage as a result of the huge blast at Beirut's port , which killed at least 178 people.

The explosion that devastated Beirut has been linked to a mishandled ammonium nitrate cargo Captain Boris Prokoshev filed a complaint against the ship owner in 2014, in which he said that the According to the captain , the vessel was arrested by the Lebanese over its failure to pay the port fee.

Russia's national Interpol bureau declined to comment.

Grechushkin, 43, was questioned in Cyprus in August. Attempts by Reuters to reach Grechushkin were unsuccessful.

Cyprus police spokesman Christos Andreou said, regarding an Interpol request on Thursday: "We have not received such a request."

Prokoshev, who is in Russia, said he had not heard anything about it and that he has not been contacted by investigators before.

He has told Reuters that 2,750 tonnes of the chemicals ended up in Beirut after the ship's owner told him to divert to Beirut to pick up extra cargo in 2013. He has also said Lebanese authorities paid little attention to the ammonium nitrate, which had been stacked in the hull in large sacks.

The Rhosus had loaded ammonium nitrate in Georgia, shipping records show, before making the unscheduled stop in Lebanon.

But it never left, becoming tangled in a legal dispute over unpaid port fees and ship defects.

Beirut port authorities impounded the vessel after it arrived in late 2013 due to outstanding debts, according to a state security report which Reuters revealed in August. In 2014, the ship was deemed unseaworthy and its cargo was unloaded in October and warehoused in what was known as Hangar 12, the epicentre of the explosion.

The ship sank near the port's breakwater in February 2018, the report said.

(Reporting by Ellen Francis and Laila Bassam in Beirut, Michele Kambas in Nicosia,; Additional reporting by Maria Vasilyeva and Maria Tsvetkova in Moscow; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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