The Russian owner of the cargo ship that brought 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate to Beirut which exploded on Tuesday has been located and questioned by police in Cyprus.

Media report say detectives on the island found Igor Grechushkin on August 6 following a request by Lebanese police.

They are trying to establish the sequence of events which led to the devastating blast that killed at least 157 people.

According ITV News, Grechushkin is alleged to have abandoned his vessel, the MV Rhosus, and its cargo after it got stuck in Beirut in 2014 - refusing to pay docking fees and the salaries of its crew.

Mr. Grechushkin reportedly made Cyprus his home several years ago, in common with many other wealthy Russians.

But Cypriot police traced him Thursday morning following a formal request by Interpol to ask him a series of questions on behalf of investigators in Beirut.

“We located him, we questioned him and he cooperated” a Cypriot law enforcement official told ITV News.

The interview was reportedly conducted as new details emerged about a series of warnings made over several years to officials in Beirut.

The warnings were about the potential dangers of the abandoned ship’s cargo - its huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate which was later moved into the port-side warehouse where it blew up this week.

The Rhosus was reportedly owned by Grechushkin’s company, Teto Shipping.

The vessel docked in Beirut in 2013 while sailing from Georgia to Mozambique.

Officials reportedly forbade it from sailing further.