Beny Steinmetz Among Six Israelis Accused of Corruption in Romania

Romanian prosecutors have accused billionaire Beny Steinmetz and several other Israelis of conducting illicit real estate deals that cost the state nearly $150 million.

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Israeli Billionaire Beny Steinmetz, PM Yitzhak Rabin’s former chief of staff Shimon Sheves and the political consultant Tal Zilberstein, who advised former Romanian Presidents, are among group of six Israelis accused of corruption in Romania,  according to official documents, quoted by Hotnews.ro.

Steinmetz, who had made his fortune from diamond mining in Africa and had invested in several real estate projects in Romania before the crisis.

Romania Libera quoted from the prosecution’s application for an arrest warrant against the Israelis saying Steinmetz, Sheves and Zilberstein “part of a criminal group set up by local businessman Remus Truica, former Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase’s chief of staff.”

This “a criminal group aimed to acquire the whole property claimed by Prince Paul as proceeds of crime of corruption acquired by providing money or goods to officials institutions holding these properties to influence their decisions by inciting, aiding and abetting to commit abuse of office by these persons.”

Spokesmen for all three denied their involvement in illegal actions attributed to Truica

Remus Truica was arrested on Wednesday night after several hours of questioning at the National Anticorruption Directorate – DNA’s local headquarters in Brasov. The prosecutors charged him for setting up and running and organized crime group that helped Paul Lambrino, also known as Prince Paul of Romania, recover several valuable assets from the state. The state took a EUR 136 million damage from the group’s illegal activities.

Paul Lambrino, who is the nephew of Romania’s King Carol II, illegally claimed the Royal Farm and other assets and approached Remus Truica to help him with the restitution process, according to the prosecutors. Truica and his group bribed the management of a research institute that held the plot of the Baneasa Farm to accept the restitution, although Prince Paul didn’t have the legal documents to prove his claim was justified, according to the DNA file quoted by Mediafax.

The group got several assets returned to Paul Lambrino, including 28 hectares of prime real estate land in northern Bucharest, in the Baneasa area. In exchange for their services, Truica and his group got 50 percent to 80 percent of the assets’ value.

The DNA prosecutors also questioned and held Dan Andronic, the director of Evenimentul Zilei newspaper, business lawyer Robert Rosu, a partner in a top business law firm in Bucharest, Lucian Claudiu Mateescu, the general manager of local real estate developer Impact, and Marius Marcovici, an advisor to former Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, all part of Truica’s group, according to Romania-insider.

However, the biggest name that appears in the file it that of Beny Steinmetz, one of the world’s richest 500 people according to Forbes. His wealth estimated of 3.5 billion. Steinmetz apparently talked to Remus Truica about the Royal Farm restitution, their conversation leading to believe that he also had a material interest in this affair, according to the transcript of a phone conversation, which appears in the prosecutors’ report, published by Hotnews.ro

Beny Steinmetz is also a shareholder in Gabriel Resources the Canadian company that wanted to carry out the gold mining project in Rosia Montana.

 

 

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