Lebanon Allows Departure of Ship Accused of Carrying Stolen Ukrainian Grain

BEIRUT (Reuters) —

A Syrian cargo ship Laodicea docked at a seaport in Tripoli, north Lebanon, Friday. (AP Photo)

Lebanon’s top prosecutor has lifted his seizure order on a ship accused by Ukraine of carrying stolen flour and barley, allowing it to sail after finding “no criminal offense committed,” a senior judicial source told Reuters.

The ship, the Laodicea, remains unable to sail for the time being due to another seizure order issued by a judge on Monday, in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, where the ship is docked, the source said.

An official at the Ukrainian Embassy in Beirut said it could not immediately comment.

Ukraine has said that the ship was carrying some 10,000 tons of flour and barley plundered by Russia from Ukrainian stores following its February invasion of the country.

The Russian Embassy in Lebanon has said it had no information on the cargo. Moscow has previously denied stealing Ukrainian grain.

An official from the company that owns the cargo previously denied it was stolen and said that the ship would sail to Syria should it be allowed to leave Tripoli.

The remaining seizure order issued on Monday was only valid for 72 hours, the judge who issued it previously told Reuters.

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