As part of the arrangement, BSGR will return to work in the mine that is at the center of the investigation into Steinmetz’s case and the allegations against him in Guinea will be canceled, according to a source close to the president in Guinea.
The goal of the Guinea government in the course is to utilize its natural resources to meet loan guarantees that the Chinese government has undertaken to develop for infrastructure development in the country.
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at email@example.com.
The main idea of the negotiations is to allow Steinmetz Mining Company, BSGR, to develop the mine and to enslave the state’s rights in return for its debts to the Chinese government.
This move was made possible after the Guinea government realized that accusations against BSGR were tainted with economic interests and that there was no reason for 10,000 local workers to suffer competition from economic rivals.
As part of the agreement between the parties, Steinmetz will return to work in the mine and employ local workers.
The mine case in Guinea is at the center of an investigation being conducted in Israel at Lahav 433 and simultaneously in the United States and Switzerland, according to police suspicions.
Steinmetz allegedly paid a $ 30 million bribe to ex-President Guinean President Lansana Conte and his wife from Madi Tor in 2008-2012.
This is in exchange for advancing the business interests of BSGR under his control – obtaining a concession for mining iron ore at Simandou, the country’s largest mine.
Steinmetz has arrested in Israel a year ago. The company’s chief executive, Asher Avidan, was also questioned on suspicion of bribery and bribery of a foreign public servant and allegedly received a $ 7 million bonus.
A few months after Steinmetz’s first arrest, and after depositing guarantees and assets worth NIS 100 million in assets and cash, the businessman was arrested again in August, this time together with strategic consultant Tal Zilberstein on suspicion of money laundering and bribery.
The suspicion was that the two carried out a scam of land in Romania amounting to 9 million euros. According to the suspicions, Steinmetz and his partners sold lands that existed only on paper. According to suspicions, money received by Steinmetz on land in Romania was used to pay bribes to government officials in Guinea.
How will the Israeli authorities react?
Last month, the Magistrate’s Court in Rishon LeZion reduced the restrictions on the billionaire, and after a year in which he did not leave the country, he allowed him to go to several countries for his business.
According to the court’s decision, Steinmetz will be barred from reaching Africa and will be allowed to travel to only six countries in Europe – Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic – and can travel to Australia and the Americas and Asia without limitation.
It is still not clear what the implications of an agreement between the parties, when signed, will be on the investigation in Israel. The investigation in Israel is important to law enforcement agencies because it deals with the amendment of the law of bribery to a foreign public servant, in accordance with the OECD guidelines.
A source familiar with the matter told Israeli Calcalist if Guinea retracts its claims, this may constitute an “earthquake to the investigation file.” However, since this is a kind of flag file of the authorities, due to the amendment of the law, it is reasonable to assume that these will refuse to give up the investigation file easily. Moreover, many efforts were invested in the investigation.
Another arena involving a mine in Guinea takes place in France as part of an arbitration committee in Paris between BSGR and the government of Guinea.
The lawsuit was filed by BSGR against the government in Guinea following its decision to deny it mining rights in 2014. During the arbitration, Steinmetz accused American billionaire George Soros of “spending $ 40-50 million out of his pocket to destroy me.”
In the United States, the mining company filed a libel suit against Soros, demanding a $ 10 billion lawsuit in April 2017 under the pretext that the defamation campaign caused by Soros caused it to lose mining rights in an iron ore mine in Guinea and other countries.
According to the lawsuit, Soros funded lawyers, non-profit organizations, private investigators and paid government officials in Guinea in an effort to expropriate BSGR mining rights at the
Simandou mine. Soros claimed in response that it was a “desperate public relations exercise” and that the claims were “weak and completely incorrect.” The State Attorney’s Office stated: “We do not relate to ongoing investigations.”
By Zohar Shahar Levi, Calcalist