Lebanon seeks arrest of owner and captain of the Rhosus

Lebanon requested on Friday October 2nd that international arrest warrants against Igor Grechushkin and Boris Prokoshev, the Russian owner and the captain of general cargo ship Rhosus. The vessel was the carrier of the 2,750 tons of ammonia nitrate to Beirut in 2013 and which was then stored by the Port in a warehouse that exploded in early August 2020.

The Moldovan-flagged ship picked up the ammonium nitrate in Georgia and had hoped to take it to an explosives company in Mozambique. However, the captain was asked to pick up extra cargo in Beirut. This proved to be too heavy for the vessel, which was then impounded by port authorities for technical deficiencies.

The cargo was moved to a nearby warehouse in 2014. The captain and remaining crew managed to leave the ship after some time being detained, and the vessel was left to rot. It eventually sank in the port in February 2018 and was forgotten, until the blast caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to the Lebanese capital.

More than 20 arrests have been made in the investigations so far.