A deadly delivery had been ordered by the Fabrica de Explosivos de Mozambique (FEM), a company that manufactures commercial explosives.
The 2 750 tons of ammonium nitrate (a chemical compound) that destroyed areas of Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday was originally meant to be shipped to Beira, Mozambique in 2013.
A Russian businessman, Igor Grechushkin, was given $1 million by the International Bank of Mozambique to ship the ammonium nitrate from the Black Sea port to Batumi in Georgia, Europe, to Beira, Mozambique.
Igor Grechushkin either owned or leased the cargo ship which loaded the ammonium nitrate and then it went on its trip, which included a rebelliousness from the crew because he failed to pay them and other money problems.
Igor Grechushkin who seemed to constantly have money, first could not afford to pay for the passage of the cargo through the Seuz Canal into the Indian Ocean to reach Beira.
He made the ship take another route to Beirut to pick up heavy machinery to earn extra money to pay for the voyage but the machinery did not fit into the ship.
Misunderstandings started including outstanding fees, supplies to the ship, and about the seaworthiness of the vessel which had sprung a leak.
Months later they transferred the ammonium nitrate to a warehouse in the port where it stayed, while the Lebanese authorities struggled over what to do with it, until Tuesday’s explosion which killed over 100 people.
It is not clear why FEM hired Igor Grechushkin, considering his reputation, as its middleman for getting the ammonium nitrate and if it ever got its $1 million back.