A HIDDEN TYCOON, AFRICAN EXPLOSIVES, AND A LOAN FROM A NOTORIOUS BANK: QUESTIONABLE CONNECTIONS SURROUND BEIRUT EXPLOSION SHIPMENT

On 21 August, OCCRP published a report saying that the vessel’s deadly cargo had been purchased from Georgia by a Mozambican company that produces commercial explosives, via a British middleman trading company linked to Ukraine.  It also says that the ownership of the ship, and the companies that ordered the nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate to be transported halfway around the world in a rickety ship, are obscured by layers of secrecy that have stymied journalists and officials at every turn. Even the Lebanese government does not appear to know who actually owned the ship.  However, OCCRP says that an international team of investigative journalists has uncovered new facts about the lead-up to the explosion, which killed at least 182 people, injured over 6,000 and caused hundreds of thousands to lose their homes.  These include a hidden shipping tycoon, a notorious bank, and businesses in East Africa previously investigated for ties to the illicit arms trade.  Documents appear to show that the true owner of the ship was Charalambos Manoli, a Cypriot shipping magnate who, at the time, was in debt to FBME, a Lebanese-owned bank that lost multiple licences for alleged money laundering offences. The ultimate customer is said to be part of a network of companies previously investigated for weapons trafficking and allegedly supplying explosives used by terrorists.

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/a-hidden-tycoon-african-explosives-and-a-loan-from-a-notorious-bank-questionable-connections-surround-beirut-explosion-shipment

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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