Lebanon Wants To Arrest Ship Captain & Owner That Brought Beirut Blast Explosive Material

Hussein Malla/AP

Following up on the deadly blast explosion, Lebanese authorities are now pointing their fingers back at the ship that brought the hazardous cargo to Beirut’s port seven years ago.

According to NNA, Lebanon’s state prosecutor has asked Interpol to detain the captain and owner of the Rhosus, the ship carrying stockpiles of ammonium nitrate that caused a massive chemical explosion on August 4th.

The statement did not indicate the names of the captain and owner but indicated they are of Russian nationality.

After the explosion, both the captain and owner were quickly identified respectively as Boris Prokoshev and Igor Grechushkin.

Left: Boris Prokoshev via Reuters | Right: Igor Grechushkin

According to Reuters, attempts to reach out to the owner Grechushkin, a Russian businessman residing in Cyprus, were unsuccessful. However, a spokesperson for Cypriot police said they have not yet received an order for his arrest.

Similarly, when questioned, captain Prokoshev, who is in Russia, said he had not heard a word about it yet nor has he been contacted by investigators.

It is worth noting that an investigative report linked the ship back to its real owner, Cypriot national Charalambos Manoli, who apparently only leased the ship to Grechushkin.

The investigative report also found public records that suggest Grechushkin has a history of acting as the corporate officer in companies run by others.

These details seem to not be taken into consideration by Lebanese authorities.

Seven years ago, the unseaworthy Rhosus ship was destined for Mozambique when it made an unscheduled stop in Beirut.

Due to several causes, the ship never left. Entangled in the web of bureaucratic incompetence, neither did the cargo of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate.

Instead, the ill-fated cargo was moved into Hangar 12 and stayed there until it ultimately caused one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history.