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JUNE 2021

“He Abandoned The Deadly Cargo”: Meet The Mysterious Businessman At Center Of The Beirut Blast Saga

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Thus far an official ongoing investigation by Lebanese authorities into the cause of Tuesday’s Beirut port blast, now considered the largest non-military munitions explosion in history, has dubbed it severe “negligence”.

It’s now well known that over 2,500 tons of ammonium nitrate, an ultra-combustible chemical compound utilized in fertilizers and production of explosives, was allowed to sit at the port in a warehouse going back seven years.

Specifically, President Michel Aoun identified that it was no less than 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate that detonated as it was “stored unsafely” — though port officials reportedly attempted to warn the government for years that it must be moved. A number of port officials have been placed under house arrest pending the investigation.

"He Abandoned The Deadly Cargo": Meet The Mysterious Businessman At Center Of The Beirut Blast Saga
An undated photo of the vessel Rhosus, via The National/EPA

Customs chief Badri Daher has told international media that his agency pleaded with Lebanese courts and high officials to order the chemical removed. Daher says the request for urgent removal was made six times to the judiciary over the years, all denied.

“This did not happen,” he said. The end result after the dangerous chemical — which is the same use in the deadly 1995 Oklahoma City bombing — was stored there since 2013 (also in undiluted form), was the most destructive blast in Lebanese history, killing over 135 people and injuring more than 5,000 – not to mention an estimated three billion dollars in damage.

“Legal documents, court correspondence and statements by public officials now trying to pass the buck shed light on the operations of the port, which has been dogged by allegations of widespread bribery and controlled in large measure by the militant Hezbollah group,” The Washington Post reports.

And the almost unbelievable story of how the explosive substance got there has emerged. It’s centered on a derelict and leaking vessel leased by a Russian businessman living in Cyprus. In 2013 the man identified as Igor Grechushkin, was paid $1 million to transport the high-density ammonium nitrate to the port of Beira in Mozambique. That’s when the ship, named the Rhosus, left the Black Sea port of Batumi, in Georgia.

"He Abandoned The Deadly Cargo": Meet The Mysterious Businessman At Center Of The Beirut Blast Saga
UK Daily Mail and The Siberian Times has published the above photograph of Igor Grechushkin, reported to be still residing in Limassol, Cyprus with his wife. Image: Ren TV

But amid mutiny by an unpaid crew, a hole in the ship’s hull, and constant legal troubles, the ship never made it. Instead, it entered the port of Beirut where it was impounded by Lebanese authorities over severe safety issues, during which time the ammonium nitrate was transferred off, and the largely Ukrainian crew was prevented from disembarking, leading to a brief international crisis among countries as Kiev sought the safe return of its nationals.

Meanwhile, Igor Grechushkin – believed to still be living in Cyprus – reportedly simply abandoned the dangerously subpar vessel he leased, as well as its crew, never to be heard from again.

According to a damning legal briefing at the time:

“…the vessel was abandoned by her owners after charterers and cargo concern lost interest in the cargo. The vessel quickly ran out of stores, bunker and provisions.”

The ammonium nitrate was supposed to be auctioned off, but this never happened. Apparently exasperated customs and dock officials even suggested Lebanese farmers could simply spread it across their fields for a good crop yield. But not even this simple solution was heeded, nor proposals to give it to the Lebanese Army.

"He Abandoned The Deadly Cargo": Meet The Mysterious Businessman At Center Of The Beirut Blast Saga
During the standoff which created a diplomatic rift between Ukraine and Lebanon: the largely Ukrainian crew was prevented from leaving the ship, even at times struggling to get food.

Via The Siberian Times: “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

Instead the deadly substance languished at port, and the Rhosus sank in the harbor years later. The last crew members weren’t allowed to leave the ship and return home until August 2014. Grechushkin may have paid for their return tickets at that time.

WaPo relates:

“Owing to the risks associated with retaining the Ammonium Nitrate on board the vessel, the port authorities discharged the cargo onto the port’s warehouses,” lawyers acting on behalf of creditors wrote in 2015. “The vessel and cargo remain to date in port awaiting auctioning and/or proper disposal,” it added.

And then later, more warnings, which apparently are in writing in legal documents:

“In view of the serious danger posed by keeping this shipment in the warehouses in an inappropriate climate,” Shafik Marei, the director of Lebanese customs, wrote in May 2016, “we repeat our request to demand the maritime agency to re-export the materials immediately.”

Astoundingly, even lawyers which had represented the effectively abandoned crew of the ship (which Ukrainian media at the time said were “hostages” of the Lebanese government) while it had been detained at port warned Lebanese government officials that the sensitive cargo was in danger “of sinking or blowing up at any moment”. 

Yet these series of warnings went unheeded for years amid a notoriously corrupt and inept Lebanese system.

Meanwhile, the fate of the man originally at the center of the saga, whose decision to simply abandon the leaky ammonium nitrate laden ship in the first place, remains somewhat of a mystery and is now largely being overlooked in international media reports. Strangely, it doesn’t even appear that Lebanese law enforcement is eager to talk to him just yet.

Cypriot media is saying Igor Grechushkin is not a Cypriot passport holder but is indeed residing in the EU country. Local authorities have indicated they are ready to bring him in for questioning, but they haven’t received a request from either Lebanese authorities or Interpol. Cypriot police spokesman Christos Andreou announced Thursday: “We have already contacted Interpol Beirut and expressed our readiness to provide them with any assistance they need, if and when our assistance is requested.”

Why hasn’t this happened? So far a few scant details have emerged via a Russia-based English language publication called The Siberian Times. It’s also included what it says is the first photograph to have emerged of Grechushkin.

The publication reports the following details:

‘The owner of the ship Igor Grechushkin effectively abandoned the ship and the remaining crew.’

‘He is not providing us with money, he completely deprived us of all means of communication.

‘He told us that he went bankrupt and while I don’t believe him, the most important thing is that he gave up on both the people and the cargo’, wrote captain Boris Prokoshev back in June 2014 in a desperate plea to international organisations, diplomats, authorities of Ukraine and the authorities of the port of Beirut to release them.

Igor Grechushkin is reported to be still residing in Cyprus with his wife.

The Daily Mail has since republished the photographs of Grechushkin and his wife, writing that the Russian businessman “currently lives in Cyprus with wife Irina – has been accused of abandoning his ship in Beirut loaded with the lethal load.”

Given that Lebanese officials are now decrying a “crime against humanity” in having stored the deadly cargo at the port in the first place, one would think Grechushkin would at least be subject of investigation along with whatever top Lebanese officials willfully ignored the ticking time bomb in their midst.

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cynic

Is he a member of the Tribe?

Giulia Dei Montefeltro

yes. (((Igor Grekushkin))), jew oligarch with russian passport.

Антон С

Not a jew, not oligarch. Stop searching for jews under every stone.) They are not so almighty as you think.

Jim Allen

Awful defensive there aren’t you ?

TopTier

“considered the largest non-military munitions explosion in history, has dubbed it severe “negligence”.

Hang on a minute…lets check every possible avenue first thanks. Like for example this video, can anyone say if cgi is involved. Was posted in the ‘aftermath of Beirut’ article earlier.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SM5ZvuAkVI

Concrete Mike

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Explosion
This was the largest conventionnal explosion ever.

Potato Man

A lot of people believe/agree with what those guys said in that video.
‘External interference through a rocket or bomb or other act’ possible cause for Beirut blast – Lebanon’s president”
RT: https://www.rt.com/news/497372-external-interference-possible-cause-beirut-blast/

Traiano Welcome

This video is no longer available … it’s being frantically scrubbed from Zionist media …

hvaiallverden

An Russian Jew, so forget everything about taking this creep out or in, they can do whatever they want and nobody is going to do anything about that, not Russia, nor the EU, and Cyrpos is an well known mafia haven, like Malta and despite Hezb, Lebanon is rotten to its core and is the reason for nobody doing anything for years.
Russian huh, why am I not the slightest surpirced and humped with Moldova and Georgia, yeah, what could possibly go wrong.

peace

Tchoutoye

Cool story brah, but it is simply too early to dismiss a military attack. The existence of ammonium nitrate does not exclude an attack, as it also makes for a convenient target. The fireworks fire may well be a smoke screen, in the same way that the planes on 9/11 provided a smoke screen for the controlled demolitions. As for Hezb denying that it was an attack, it has ample strategic reasons for doing so.

Beritus

It takes an awful lot of heat.
To ignite ammonium nitrate.
Fire alone will not cause such.
Explosion, blast and devastation.

Hezbollah denying an attack.
Was odd to say the least.
But like you said.
It could be motivated by strategy.

This is a new weapon.
Israel tested in Syria.
January 2020.
Explosion, blast, shockwave.
Is identical to Beirut.

https://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/mp4/Syrie.mp4

The attacks on the 7 Iranians ships.
Recently.
Also had a similar signature.

PZIVJ

It is possible the fire could ignite it if close enough. Ammonium nitrate will ignite at 210* C or 410* F, and it will be an extremely fast reaction. A house fire can sometimes easily reach over 1000* F in under 4 minutes.

Beritus

Thanks for the info.
The mushroom cloud.
The shockwave.
However.
Don’t seem to be the result.
Of a typical explosion.
And not one that the ammonium nitrate.
Could yield.
The blast in Syria and Beirut.
Are 100% identical.
What do you think?

PZIVJ

This could have been sabotage or an attack on the port. Even yellow clown Trump said this could have been an an attack, though not sure why being since he is a supporter of Israhell. No video of the first explosion that occurred 10 minutes before the second larger one that I have seen.
When ammonium nitrate ignites, it will create nitrogen oxides (the red cloud) and water vapor (the white cloud) which dissipates in the air quickly.

Beritus

Thanks for the info.
It’s the similarity with the explosion in Syria.
Fired by Israel. January 2020.
With the one in Beirut.
That makes me wonder.

https://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/mp4/Syrie.mp4

<>

We did not attack you, are you trying to search reasons that we did?
If you want to blame us for something we did not do then be very careful about it, one small mistake at our border and Israel and Lebanon are going to a war.

PZIVJ

Perhaps MOSAD set up a barbaric attack on the people of Beirut, without your knowledge ?

<>

It was not an attack, why would we kill Beirut’s citizens just like that?
Your point would be valid if only Hezbollah was hit, then you could have blamed us, but that is not the case. We care about SL where the rockets are, it makes no sense to attack Beirut without a reason (like if they shoot rockets on Haifa for example).
If Hezbollah still wants to act aganst us then nothing we can do to stop it, however, then we would have a real reason to atatck Lebanon and when that happens, that accident in Beirut will be small compared to us.

PZIVJ

Israel was threatening to hit Lebanese infrastructure, and they did that.
Perhaps you not planning on such a high death toll and casualties among the civilians? Of coarse Israhell is good at killing women and children.

<>

For a minute there I thought I could have a normal conversation with you, nevermind.

PZIVJ

MOSAD operation at the port.
Bad day for everybody. :(((

Jim Allen

Wait….What ?
Yesterday you were all bring it on, and shit. Gonna’ whup ass, and the grass that grows in Lebanon, too.
Bump your head, or something ?

Beritus

Not trying.
Not searching.
I said ‘ if ‘.
Too early too know.

Trump hinting at ‘ attack ‘.
Twice.
Identical signature with explosion in Syria.
Netanyahu mentioning site in 2018.
Now Aoun hinting at ‘ interference ‘.
Etc.
All raise questions.

You.
Wrapped it up.
As ‘ accident ‘.
When no investigate.
Started.

<>

Okay then wait for the results, Israel had no part in it.

Traiano Welcome

But Israel certainly enjoyed the result:

“Former Israeli Member of the Knesset Moshe Feiglin gleefully hailed yesterday’s devastating explosion in Beirut as a “gift” from God in time for the Jewish festival Tu B’Av.

Feiglin posted on Facebook that he thanked God that the deadly blast took place
in Beirut, and claimed it was just in time for Tu B’Av, which is a
festival of love, and in modern times has become a romantic Jewish
holiday for dancing, handing out flowers and singing.

“Today is Tu B’Av, a day of joy, and a true and huge thank you to G-d and all
the geniuses and heroes really (!) who organized for us this wonderful
celebration in honor of the day of love.”

He added:

“What we saw yesterday at the Port of Beirut was much bigger. The
destructive effect (without the radiation) was like a nuclear bomb.”

In an interview with local radio, the former Likud MK said he hoped Israel
was responsible for the blast, and that he was allowed to “rejoice”
that it was Beirut and not Tel Aviv.

He said: “If it was us, and I hope it was us, then we should be proud of
it, and with that we will create a balance of terror. By avoiding saying
it’s us – we are putting ourselves on the dark side of morality…”

<>

I don’t mind this lunatic, even in Likud they knew he is stupid and kicked him out. I have no joy in such accidents, I told the Lebanese guy I feel sorry for him. But that doesn’t make it right to blame us for something we did not do, and if Hezbollah wants to use the situation and act against us then let it be so, but they will pay a heavy price.

Phoron

Thanks for the link, I dont think there’s anything very distinctive about the torus-shaped wave which points it to a certain manufacturer.

Highly humid air does this when a blast shockwave moves through it, condenses rapidly.

It’s been filmed before, B52 strikes in Vietnam come to mind immediately.

Beritus

I am no expert.
Some say it’s new weapon.
Wasn’t the B52’s speciality.
Carpet bombing?
Anyway, it’s been a long time.
Military tech evolved.
Looking forward to investigation.

Phoron

The red cloud is a tell tale sign of ammonium nitrate explosion

Beritus

Thanks for the info.
Not denying the ammonium nitrate.
My concern is the similarity with the explosion.
In Syria. January 2020.
Tested by Israel.
It’s identical to Beirut.

https://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/mp4/Syrie.mp4

Vitex

Although the Lebs are clearly incompetent I’d be interested to go through the wreckage with a geiger counter. It sure looked like a tactical nuke

Beritus

If it was indeed.
A tactical nuke.
It had little to do with.
Incompetence.
But I hear you generally.

Bill Wilson

The fire at the fireworks factory set off the first explosion. The blast wave from it most likely stripped off roofing at the AN warehouse with burning embers being blown inside that ignited combustible materials. A minor fire inside a metal storage building managed to detonate the stock of AN inside and that in outdoor storage tanks at a fertilizer supply store in Weust, Texas some years ago. Their employees were putting out the fire with water hoses when the entire operation disappeared in one enormous explosion. They’re still not sure what caused the blast since everything had been blown to bits.

Jens Holm

Its very easy to create bombs by that. You easy can add chemical heat.

Codenamed 'Gordon'

Hezb did not denying that it was an attack. Hezb did deny that it was his ammo depot!
But IDF was aware of the existence of this warehouse next the country’s grain stores so IDF could have it used to trigger instability in Lebanon, it has ample strategic reasons for doing so.

Julio Cesar Perez

Israel has been attacking its neighboring countries decades ago, especially Lebanon which has now been constantly attacking and threatening. Who will have destroyed the Beirut Port in Lebanon now?

PZIVJ

Good news, Lebanon will have enough grain, the damaged silos where not close to being full.
“He said existing reserves of flour were sufficient to cover market needs for a month and a half and said there were four ships carrying cargoes totalling 28,000 tonnes of wheat that had not docked at the port yet. Lebanon is trying to immediately transfer four vessels carrying 25,000 tonnes of flour to the port in Tripoli, an economy ministry official told news channel”
comment image

Phoron

Its amazing those silos are still standing, being so close to the blast. Whoever put them up built ’em like a brick shithouse

PZIVJ

A double line of concrete silos.
They shielded part of Beirut city from even more shock damage.

shylockracy

The Zioterrorist Jews or US-led war criminals may have paid saboteurs or event sent frogmen to carry out the operation with the possible implication of people like this article’s subject, but since Beirut’s 1983 bombings, the area hadn’t seen a similar event. There’s too many people in Lebanon that the global Zioterrorists can pay off as agents for their murderous destabilisation schemes. Iran’s in Syria battling ISIS, maybe it’s time to help Lebanon as well.

SOF

see http://82.221.129.208, scroll down for stuff on the Lebanese blast. Ammonium nitrate alone does not do an explosion that big.

midell

If this is true.. Then the whole lebanese authority.. Including their judiciary has brought this calamity upon themselves and their citizens. their is no need to involve interpol in this. All those in authority in all their arms of government during the 7 years period should be arrested and persecuted.

Lazy Gamer

Really stupid that a country’s security is at the mercy of officials who only know how to pocket money. Somebody wanted that fertilizer to stay there.

Антон С

Seems like a laziness of local authorities.

Potato Man

Lebanon has 3 groups (Shiite, Sunni, christian) and some goys like Ghani’s wife comes from Lebanon as well.
BTW really clown, MEMRI… I would take the word of the goy we have here over MEMRI bud.
If you didn’t know, “The Middle East Media Research Institute is a nonprofit press monitoring and analysis organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C.” WASHINGTON LMFAO good joke buddy.

Potato Man

Hey low life 2 Shekel ape, watch this video that (Beritus) share.
https://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/mp4/Syrie.mp4

Ohhh that’s right the blame game is started and the 2 shekel of Israel are out again.

TopTier

Have you see the infrared video of a missile hitting the port yet? I posted it again above because it was removed yesterday.

Potato Man

We just don’t know for sure, I wait… there a lot of rumors going around and I sure as hell don’t want to be part of it. The longer the disinformation and rumors goes the longer it would take us to understand what really happened.
Even RT: ‘External interference through rocket, bomb or other act’ possible cause of Beirut blast – Lebanon’s president
https://www.rt.com/news/497372-external-interference-possible-cause-beirut-blast/

TopTier

Indeed, who knows for sure…waiting for hezbolla & all the other parties to conduct their own investigation.

daniel

RT is now friend of Israel,

Potato Man

A lot of Russian jews move to Israel after WWII and I’m sure you know Russia also suck goys dick (Israel) as they (Russia) “saved” jews. Each year they (Russian) just want to hear the golden days when they killed Nazi Germany.

It is sad tho, I really don’t understand Russia and they point of view on Israel, but China is not shying away to say fuk Israel and China and ME countries are working together nowadays.

Tommy Jensen

Smoke article, to cover up for the nuclear bomb attack.

TopTier

Reuters did a “FACT CHECK”
Verdict = FALSE.
So that’s that then.
Nothing to see here.
Just move along.

Lazy Gamer

if this is true, governments are keeping quiet. Missile launches should be detectable in a region with lots of military bases.

Lazy Gamer

Lebanon should also invest in radar tech, maybe s400 just so they can keep an eye on their airspace

Антон С

This Grechushkin should be one of LGBT members. Left people alone with no salary in Lebanon, but has enough money for living at Cyprus. Fag**t!

Assad must stay

i am wondering if he was paid off or something to do this

The Farney Fontenoy

This whole story about the ship & ammonium nitrate is a distraction, and zerohedge is controlled opposition, for anyone who didn’t already know.
This was a missile attack using the ammonium nitrate as a cover story, conventional chemicals do not detonate like this-there was an IDENTICAL ‘explosion’ in Syria a few months ago which know was speculated at the time to be a new type of low-yield nuclear weapon without the radioactive fallout, which explodes much like a conventional weapon

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