Chile police arrested the absconding accused from Portugal

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A Portuguese man wanted in connection with the Beirut port explosion has been arrested by police in Chile.

The man had been wanted by Interpol and was detained after landing at Santiago airport on a flight from Spain.

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He is accused of bringing “explosive elements” into Lebanon connected with the deadly explosion in Beirut’s port in August 2020.

The blast, which killed at least 218 people, was caused by a warehouse fire where hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate had been stored for years “without precautionary measures”.

NGOs and victims’ relatives have accused Lebanese authorities of stalling the investigation to avoid charges.

In January 2021, a judicial source informed that “red notices” had been issued against three people connected to the explosion.

This reportedly included the owner and captain of the “Rhosus” ship that had brought the ammonium nitrate to Beirut and a Portuguese businessman who ordered the shipment.

Around 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was brought to the Lebanese capital in November 2013 on a Moldovan-flagged ship bound for Mozambique from Georgia.

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Port authorities had stored it in a dilapidated warehouse, while the ship eventually sank in 2018.

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