Judge Fadi Akiki, a government representative at the military court, said Lebanese authorities had so far questioned at least 18 Beirut port and customs officials, as well as individuals involved in maintenance work at the warehouse, according to the news agency, which did not name the detained individuals.
“Sixteen people have been taken into custody as part of the investigation,” Akiki said, noting that the investigation was ongoing, NNA reported.
Lebanons central bank earlier said it had frozen the account directly or indirectly linked to Beirut ports general manager, Hassan Koraytem; the head of Lebanese Customs Director General Badri Daher; and five others, including present and former port and customs officials.
Koraytem and Badri had both told Lebanese broadcasters on Wednesday that several letters had been sent over the years to the countrys judiciary requesting the removal of highly-explosive material warehoused at the port which blew up on Tuesday. The blast has killed at least 157 people, and injured 5,000 others.