LONDON: Lebanon has asked Interpol to issue arrest warrants for two Russians who transported material into Beirut port which exploded on August 4.
Almost 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrates were shipped into the port in 2013 and stored there, which then subsequently exploded — killing 193 people, wounding more than 6,500 and causing billions of dollars of damage to the Lebanese capital.
Judge Fadi Sawwan referred the case to the state prosecution, which then asked Interpol to arrest two Russian citizens believed to be Boris Prokoshev, captain of the MV Rhosus which sailed from Turkey to Beirut, and businessman Igor Grechushkin living in Cyprus, who purchased the cargo ship in 2012, the National News Agency said.
Grechushkin had already been questioned by police on request of Interpol’s Lebanon office back in August.
More than 20 people, including port and customs officials, have been arrested and questioned since the devastating blast, which is now considered to be one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded.
The Rhosus set sail from Batumi in Georgia carrying more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate destined for Mozambique, but was forced to make a detour to Beirut in November 2013.
Almost a year later, in October 2014, the explosive material was moved into the port’s Warehouse 12, which holds impounded materials.
The ammonium nitrate remained in the warehouse until it exploded while the Rhosus never left the port and sank there in February 2018, according to Lebanese official documents.