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Lebanon permits ship suspected of carrying stolen Ukrainian grain to leave

According to a senior judicial source, Lebanon’s top prosecutor has lifted his seizure order on a ship that Ukraine claims is carrying stolen flour and barley, allowing it to sail after concluding that ‘no criminal offence was committed.’


A judge in Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, issued a new seizure order on Monday that prevents the ship, the Laodicea, from sailing for the time being, according to the source.


The judge who issued the seizure order previously informed Reuters that it was only valid for 72 hours.


A representative of the Ukrainian Embassy in Beirut said he was unable to comment right away and that a news conference would be held on Wednesday.


According to Ukraine, the Syrian-flagged ship was transporting 10,000 tonnes of flour and barley that had been looted from Ukrainian stores by Russia after its invasion of the nation in February.


According to their statement, the Russian Embassy in Lebanon had no knowledge of the cargo. Moscow has in the past denied stealing grain from Ukraine.


Previously, a representative of the company that owns the cargo denied that it was stolen and stated that, if permitted to leave Tripoli, the ship would proceed to the nearby country of Syria.


The Laodicea arrived in Lebanon on July 27, and after the Ukrainian embassy and other Western countries objected, top prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat ordered it seized pending investigations two days later.


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