Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz detained in fraud probe

Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz detained in fraud probe
2 min read
14 August, 2017
Israeli police have detained five suspects in a corruption probe relating to tens of millions of dollars allegedly paid to Guinean officials.
Beny Steinmetz was also placed under house arrest in December [AFP]

Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz was detained along with four other suspects on Monday in a high-profile fraud probe into overseas mining malpractices, the magnet's lawyer said on Monday.

In a separate statement, Israeli police said five unnamed suspects were detained and questioned under caution on suspicion of money laundering, fraudulent filing of corporate documents, fraud and corporate breach of trust, obstruction of justice and bribery.

Steinmetz was placed under house arrest and later released without charge in December as part of a probe into bribery allegations relating to his mining firm BSG Resources.

Police said at the time that Steinmetz and other Israeli expats had allegedly paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes to Guinean officials in order to advance their business interests.

Monday's police statement said that the detained suspects are thought to have "acted together and methodically with the prime suspect in order to create and present fictitious contracts and deals... on a foreign country in order to transfer funds and launder money".

Searches were also carried out by police on the homes of the five detainees.

BSGR has denied the allegations against the firm and says that the investigation was initiated by Guinea's government.

The West African state launched a review of mining contracts signed before 2011 and investigated how the Israeli firm obtained rights to the Simandou deposit - the world's largest untapped iron ore reserves.