BEIRUT — A Portuguese man was arrested in Chile Thursday for alleged involvement in the 2020 Beirut port explosion, AFP reported Wednesday, based on a statement from the Chilean police. The identity of the man, who is accused of bringing explosive material into Beirut port and is wanted by Interpol, has not been made public.
Here’s what we know:
• The accused arrived in Santiago on a flight from Spain but was prevented from entering Chile and put on a plane back to Madrid in coordination with Interpol, Christian Saez, head of the Santiago airport police headquarters told AFP.
• In January 2021, Interpol had issued a red notice, an international arrest warrant, against the owner and captain of Rhosus, the ship that transported the explosive materials to the Beirut port, along with a Portuguese ammonium nitrate trader presumably implicated in this case.
• International media named Jorge Moreira, also known as José Moreira, as the owner of the cargo of ammonium nitrate that was eventually stored at Beirut port. However, neither name — Jorge Moreira nor José Moreira — appeared in the list of red notices on the Interpol site.
• This massive cargo of ammonium nitrate was stored in one of Beirut port’s warehouses from 2013, eventually catching fire on August 4, 2020, causing the worst explosion in Lebanon’s history, killing more than 200 people and destroying several Beirut neighborhoods. The ammonium nitrate had arrived in Beirut on a ship traveling from Georgia bound for Mozambique.