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Beny Steinmetz Detained in Fraud Probe

Aug 15, 2017 9:22 AM   By Rapaport News
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Israeli police arrested diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz on Monday in connection with an investigation into alleged fraud and money laundering, according to media reports.

Steinmetz was one of a handful of public figures held for questioning over the alleged crimes, which also included forgery, The Guardian reported. He appeared in court Monday in the Israeli town of Rishon Lezion, where he denied any wrongdoing.

“There’s nothing here,” Israeli media outlets quoted him as saying. “It's all political wars.”

Steinmetz had previously been detained in December in relation to his mining activities in West Africa, after which he was released to house arrest. That case concerned allegations that he and others had arranged to bribe public officials in Guinea so his company, Beny Steinmetz Group Resources, could win half the rights to a lucrative iron-ore deposit there, the Guardian report said.

Speaking in court, the mining mogul accused Israel of behaving like a “totalitarian state,” according to local media. He also claimed to be the victim of a plot by US billionaire George Soros, whose Open Society Foundations provide funding to Global Witness, a non-governmental organization that campaigned for investigations into the alleged corruption surrounding Guinea’s Simandou iron-ore deposit (pictured), the Financial Times reported.

Image: Copyright © 2017 Rio Tinto
Tags: Beny Steinmetz, Guinea, Israel, legal, mining, Rapaport News
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