Lebanon asks Interpol to detain two 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 on Thursday for the captain and owner of a ship that carried thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate to Beirut seven years ago, the state-run National News Agency (NNA) said.

Nearly 3,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrates stored at Beirut’s port exploded on August 4, killing 193, wounding about 6,500 and causing damage worth billions of dollars.

The news agency said judge Fadi Sawwan referred the case to the state prosecution that asked Interpol to detain the two Russian citizens.

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 in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, bought the cargo ship in 2012 from Cypriot businessman Charalambos Manoli. Grechushkin has been questioned by police on request of Interpol’s Lebanon office in August.

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