A judicial official said prosecutor Ghassan Guidat appointed police to investigate the “Laodicia” cargo that arrived at the port of Tripoli. He ordered the seizure of the vessel pending the completion of the investigation.
According to Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Ostash, the loaded grain came from Russian-occupied parts of his country. The diplomat contacted Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Thursday to discuss the “illegal” cargo on board. According to the Justice Department official, Lebanese police have been instructed to cooperate with the Embassy of Ukraine in the investigation.
The officer explained that according to the first findings, the shipping company “Laodicia” is owned by a Turkish national and the grain belongs to a Syrian trader. Part of the cargo was to be unloaded in Lebanon, while the rest was sent to Syria. According to the Lebanese Foreign Ministry, it is “barley and flour”.
The ship’s documents were in order and there was no evidence of stolen goods, a customs official told AFP. Turkish authorities have already seized the ship “to come under sanctions”. There is currently a bread shortage in economically hard hit Lebanon.
Ukraine continues to accuse Russia of “stealing” agricultural products, especially grain, from the occupied territories. At the same time, Ukraine is currently preparing to resume grain exports as part of an agreement negotiated with Moscow under UN supervision. Millions of tons of Ukrainian grain cannot be exported at the moment due to the Russian naval blockade and Ukrainian sea mines.