/ By Clive Minchom /
Two days ago the FBI arrested Frederic Cilins, 50, a French citizen, who had previously been alleged by the Government of Guinea to be “an agent” for BSG Resources, the mining arm of Israeli tycoon Beny Steinmetz, against which Guinea are alleging corrupt practices in connection with a proposed iron ore mining development there. The United States Justice Department of Justice yesterday said the man had been charged with obstructing a criminal investigation, tampering with a witness and destruction of records.
Simandou iron ore project in Guinea /Source The-Australian
In January United States authorities began investigating potential illegal payments made to obtain mining concessions in Guinea, and transfers of those payments into the United States. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allows American officials to pursue bribery cases abroad.
“Mr. Cilins is charged with scheming to destroy documents and induce a witness to give false testimony to a grand jury investigating potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, ” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman. The obstruction charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, the Justice Department said, and the tampering and record-destruction charges each carry up to 20 years.
A BSG Resources spokesman said the group had no immediate comment. BSG Resources were not mentioned by the Justice Department in the indictment.
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