The Russian vessel, named MV Rhosus, carrying agricultural fertilizer with 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate and en route to Mozambique hit a financial snag and docked in the Beruit port in 2013, according to legal documents and Lebanese officials, the Washington Post reported.
Lebanon’s director of customs, Badri Daher, repeatedly sent letters to the judiciary over the years and warned that the cargo was the equivalent of “a floating bomb," but the warnings went unheeded.
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Daher said flagging the risks to authorities was "extra work" for him and his predecessors outside of his responsibility to prevent smuggling and collecting duties.
He says it was the port authority's job to monitor the material and store it appropriately.
The Russian ship was held at the port after reporting "technical problems" and inspectors barred it from sailing onwards.