Beirut Explosives Were Abandoned By Russian Owner

The Moscow Times reports:

Nearly 3,000 tons of a highly explosive fertilizer that caused Tuesday’s devastating blast in Beirut came from a ship owned by a Russian businessman, the Mediazona news website reported Wednesday, citing Lebanese television and members of the ship’s crew.

Lebanese authorities in 2014 confiscated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate from a Moldovan ship called the Rhosus, the country’s LBCI television channel reported overnight, citing sources at a Supreme Defense Council meeting.

The Rhosus is owned by Igor Grechushkin, a Russian national and resident of Cyprus, Mediazona cited the ship’s crew members as saying. The ship had been traveling from Georgia to Mozambique in 2013 when it experienced a malfunction and made an unscheduled stop in Beirut.

The Siberian Times reports:

The cargo was checked and detained after the port authorities said it was ‘lacking documents and conditions necessary for transportation.’

The crew – eight Ukrainian and two Russian men – was forced to stay on board of the vessel while the owner Grechushkin declared himself bankrupt and ‘abandoned the ship’.

Lebanese authorities agreed to let six out of ten sailors to leave the country, others were left stranded on the ship for almost a year. Igor Grechushkin is reported to be still residing in Cyprus with his wife.