Lebanon allows ship allegedly carrying stolen Ukrainian grain to depart

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Lebanon’s attorney general approved today the release of a Syrian-flagged ship seized after allegations by the Kyiv embassy in Beirut that it was carrying flour and barley stolen from Ukraine, an official said.

Prosecutor Ghassan Weidat allowed the departure of the “Laodicea”, which has docked at the port of Tripoli (north) on Saturday, after investigations could not prove that the goods it was carrying were stolen, a judicial official told AFP.

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“Preliminary investigations (…) did not reveal the existence of any criminal offense or that the goods were stolen,” added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon had stated that the grain carried by the ship had been loaded from a Ukrainian region occupied by Russian forces and had presented the Lebanese authorities with evidence of the theft of the goods.

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Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russian forces of looting its grain warehouses since Russia invaded the country in late February. On Saturday, Weidat had ordered the seizure of the boat and tasked the police with an investigation.

The prosecutor verified that the grain on board belonged to a Syrian merchant, the judicial official said.

“The Syrian national whose name appears on the cargo originating in Ukraine presented himself for investigation and showed documents proving he is its owner,” the official added.

Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest grain exporters, resumed grain exports this week following an agreement reached under the auspices of the United Nations.

Lebanon, facing one of the world’s worst economic crises, is also facing a severe bread shortage.


Source: Capital

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