Middle EastPorts and Logistics

Lebanon seeks arrest of owner and captain of the ship that brought deadly ammonia nitrate to Beirut port

Lebanon requested yesterday international arrest warrants against Igor Grechushkin and Boris Prokoshev, the Russian owner and the captain of the Rhosus, a general cargo ship that brought 2,750 tons of ammonia nitrate to Beirut seven years ago, cargo that eventually caused the massive port blast in August this year.

The ageing Moldovan-flagged ship picked up the ammonium nitrate in Georgia destined for an explosives company in Mozambique. It stopped in Beirut port to pick up extra cargo where it was impounded by port authorities. The cargo was moved to a nearby warehouse a year later, while the abandoned, decaying vessel sank in the port in February 2018.

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

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Another joke – why arrest the captain and owner? It wasn’t they who left it in storage for several years knowing the highly explosive nature of the damn stuff ……………. Just more bullshit and one wonders why Lebanon is in the state it’s in.

    1. the officials needs to show action against it, now they arguments will continue news get older and older than erase from the memory, World knows the fact of Lebanon’s,
      Leave them n to there own situation.
      Let the kids have fun……

  2. The Captain and the Owner may not have had any involvement in the transfer of the cargo ashore. Once it was discharged into the warehouse, the involvement of the Captain and Owner of the ship ends. So who owned the cargo 1) while it was on the ship, and 2) while it was sitting in the warehouse.
    Was it sold at all? In addition, who made the decision and gave permission for it to be transferred off the ship? For this you have to look at the Port Authority and the owners of the warehouse, which might be the same thing. Who paid the stevedores who transferred it from the ship into the warehouse? I suspect the contract of carriage was a Bill of Lading. Did the buyers in Mozambique already have title, or was the cargo sold in transit? The pursuit of the Captain and Owners of the ship which brought the cargo to Beirut is a red herring. They should start with compelling them or their underwriters to raise and dispose of the wreck of the “Rhosus” obstructing their harbour.

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