Lebanese and international investigators have yet to identify the owner of the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate which sat languishing in Beirut’s port for seven years before it detonated amid an accidental warehouse fire on Aug.4, killing over 200 people and injuring more than 6,000.
It was estimated to be worth $700,000 by 2013 prices, but no one ever came forward to claim it. It’s still a mystery even after Cypriot authorities at the request of Interpol late last week finally interviewed the man who originally abandoned Rhosus, a Russian businessman named Igor Grechushkin, during the ship’s ill-fated intended trip to deliver the substance to an explosives maker in Mozambique.
Reuters along with others have been investigating the ship, which sank while moored of Beirut in 2018, and the mystery of just who owned its volatile cargo: “Among the still-unanswered questions: who paid for the ammonium nitrate and did they ever seek to reclaim the cargo when the Rhosus was impounded? And if not, why not?”