Diamond Magnate Beny Steinmetz Arrested

His company calls the bribery and money laundering allegations “baseless”

Israeli diamond and mining magnate Beny Steinmetz has been arrested in Israel in connection with a bribery investigation, according to numerous news reports.

The reclusive billionaire, considered among the richest men in Israel, was suspected of bribery and money laundering, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. He is currently under house arrest, the newspaper said.

BSG Resources, the mining company Steinmetz is generally linked to, denied the charges to Reuters, labeling them “baseless.” Steinmetz’s lawyer, Yuval Sasson, also denied the allegations, calling them an attempt to “camouflag[e] acts of corruption with the aim of illegal confiscation of assets.”

NGO Global Witness hailed the arrest, which it says stems from the iron ore mining rights BSGR was granted in Guinea in 2008.

“Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world and was deprived of vast sums through BSGR’s corrupt deal,” said Daniel Balint-Kurti of Global Witness’ Special Investigations team in a statement. “It is vital that such cases are fully investigated and that those involved in bribery are brought to justice.”

 

JCK News Director