Interpol has issued red notices for the captain and owner of the ship that carried 2,750 tonnes of explosive material and devastated Beirut in an explosion in August, killing 200 people, Lebanese media reported.

Those named are Igor Grechushkin, a Russian businessman and apparent owner of the MV Rhosus that brought the ammonium nitrate into Beirut in 2013, as well as the ship’s captain at the time, Boris Prokoshev, who is also Russian. A notice was also issued for Portuguese national Jorge Moreira, who allegedly bought the explosive material from Georgian factory Rustavi Azot.

Interpol issues the notices at the request of a member country. The non-binding notices ask authorities worldwide to provisionally detain people pending possible extradition or other legal actions.

Sources close to the investigation said they believe Grechushkin and Prokoshev are in Russia, while Moreira’s whereabouts are unknown.

Prokoshev has earlier said the chemicals ended up in Beirut after the ship’s owner told him to divert to pick up extra cargo, and that Lebanese authorities had paid little attention to the nitrate: “I do not understand at all what could be the basis for my arrest”, he said.

Lebanese officials have faced accusations of negligence, with some port and customs employees detained in connection to the blast, which injured thousands of people. Families of the victims are still waiting for results of the investigation.


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