Israeli police detain billionaire Steinmetz in fraud probe: source (Reuters U.S. – August 14, 2017)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli police on Monday detained Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and four other suspects for questioning in a fraud investigation, a source briefed on the case said.

Israeli authorities put Steinmetz under house arrest last December, releasing him two weeks later without charge, in a probe of bribery allegations relating to the activities of his mining firm BSG Resources in Africa. BSGR denied any wrongdoing.

At the time, police said he and other Israelis living abroad were alleged to have paid tens of millions of dollars to senior public officials in the West African state of Guinea to advance their business.

In a statement on Monday, Israeli police said five suspects were detained for questioning under caution on suspicion of money laundering, fraudulent filing of corporate documents, fraud and corporate breach of trust, obstruction of justice and bribery.

A source briefed on the investigation told Reuters that one of the suspects was Steinmetz. Israeli media reports identified him as being among those detained and questioned. An Israeli law office representing the businessman, contacted by Reuters, declined to comment.

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