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Customs Officials Who Once Warned Of The Danger Of Chemical Ships In The Port Of Beirut All Ended Up Dead


The medical examination reports on the official at the time provided various explanations, some attributed to the accident, and the other with unusual bruises on his face.

Regarding the chemical vessel that was anchored in Beirut for a long time before the terrible explosion, the first document that mentions this ship is dated February 21, 2014, three months after the ship anchored at the port of Beirut.

Accordingly, Colonel Joseph Skaff - a senior customs official - warned the anti-smuggling department in customs that the chemicals on board were "particularly dangerous and dangerous with public safety". At this time, chemicals were still on the ship that was parked in the port of Beirut.

In March 2017, Colonel Skaff died in an unknown situation. He was found dead near his home in Beirut and the cause is believed to have been a fall from above.

The medical examination reports of the time gave different explanations, some attributed to the accident, and the notes with unusual bruises on his face.

On July 27, 2014, Judge Jad Maalouf wrote a letter to the Ministry of Factory and Public Transport warning that the ship was carrying dangerous materials and could sink. Mr. Maalouf suggested that the Department of Plant and Public Transport work with the ship, remove the ammonium nitrate and "put them where the Ministry chooses, and the materials should be protected".

Not long after that, the ammonium nitrate on board was put in warehouse 12 in the port of Beirut, and these chemicals remained until the explosion on August 4.

It is not clear whether the storage of these chemicals is officially under the control of the Ministry of Plant and Public Transport or not.

According to information from LBC TV (Lebanon), October 2015, the military intervened after seeing that the handling of this chemical warehouse was delayed. Military intelligence sent an expert to inspect the material while it found nitrogen concentrations as high as 34.7% - considered a high risk of explosion.

The military warned customs that the chemicals had to be relocated quickly, the proposed option being export. The customs department passed the report back to Judge Maalouf, according to LBC TV.

The Associated Press said that it had contacted three Lebanese military and security officials to confirm information from LBC TV but was not answered.

Before his arrest, Mr. Daher, the director of Lebanese Customs, said that between 2014 and 2017 he and his predecessor had written six letters to judge Maalouf that the chemical warehouse was dangerous and asked the judge to clear it. decision to relocate or sell it.

Mr. Daher said he and his deputy had warned authorities of the potential danger, but that was all he could do. He also received no response.

Regarding developments, recently, the President of Lebanon suddenly rejected the call to open an international investigation related to the incident, saying that it was an attempt to "reduce the truth".



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