Israeli businessman Beni Steinmetz was detained at the Athens airport over a data failure to cancel the Interpol red notice requested by Romania.
Billionaire Benny Steinmetz arrived on a private flight from Israel on November 24. During the investigation, the police discovered that he had an arrest warrant issued by Interpol. The businessman was handcuffed and taken to the appellate prosecutor’s office. There, according to information, he was released from prison, provided that he did not leave the country.
The reason for the arrest, as it turned out, was a failure in the Interpol system, but the Greek authorities decided, just in case, not to let Steinmetz out of the country. Sources familiar with the decision say the detention in Greece is the result of a serious setback in the removal of a notification from border controls in Europe.
Previously, the Romanian Supreme Court found him guilty of land fraud *. Interpol issued a “red notice” on the execution of his five-year prison sentence. ”
Red Notice ”is an international arrest warrant for a person wanted by the authorities of the member states of Interpol. But the detention in Greece came about a few weeks after the Interpol supervisory committee (CCF) ordered on October 29 to cancel the order against Steinmetz requested by Romania. In a detailed decision, the CCF indicated, among other things, that the proceedings against him stemmed from political considerations and had serious shortcomings.
Legal representative for Steinmetz Adv. Eitan Maoz said: “I can confirm that Mr. Steinmetz was detained at the Athens airport due to a serious communication failure on the removal of Interpol’s red notice. We are dealing with this issue and hope that Mr. Steinmetz will return home soon. “
In 2013, the name of an Israeli businessman was associated with a series of investments in Greece. At the time, the press talked about an Israeli businessman working in the mining industry who was interested in LARCO. And that through his fund, which has a relationship with Deutsche Bank, he will provide about 900 million in cash at the National Bank, with guarantees from the Pangea real estate company.
According to reports from the time, 57-year-old Benny Steinmetz was worth an estimated $ 4.1 billion. The Israeli, who was resident in Switzerland at the time and was accused of bribery in Guinea, owns the Benny Steinmetz Group Resources.
Steinmetz was arrested by the Israeli authorities in 2016, interrogated and placed under house arrest until early 2017. According to foreign media reports, he, among other things, was charged with bribery through his company BSG Resources – the right to operate the Simandu mine in New Guinea, which has one of the largest iron ore reserves in the world.
Beny Steinmetz (Beny Steinmetz, Hebrew בני שטיינמץ) is an Israeli businessman, head of Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR). His companies are merged into the Benny Steinmetz Group (BSG) holding. Main areas of activity: diamond industry, mining and processing of natural resources, energy and real estate. In the global diamond market, Beni Steinmetz is considered one of the main competitors of another Israeli billionaire – Lev Levaeva… The owner of BSG is also the largest distributor of De Beers, a South African corporation, the world leader in diamond mining and processing. In general, Steinmetz’s activity covers more than fifty countries, including Saudi Arabia, the USA and Great Britain, many states of Africa, South America and Eastern Europe.
In the former USSR, his interests extend to Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Steinmetz infiltrated the region six months after the collapse of the Soviet regime, starting with the construction of a gold mining enterprise in Uzbekistan.
In April 2017, BSGR filed a lawsuit against George Soros in US federal court in New York, claiming that he went to great lengths to defame the company and sabotage its business around the world.
In August 2017, he was detained and taken for interrogation to the police station in Lod. Steinmetz was detained along with five other persons in connection with the investigation of money laundering and fraudulent activities involving forged documents. According to other Israeli media outlets, Swiss and American authorities are involved in the investigation.
In 2018, the Koidu Mine in Sierra Leone, operated by a trust of the billionaire’s family, began mining again after stopping production for almost a year. In 2015, the mine became the subject of a battle between Steinmetz’s BSG Resources Ltd. and the government, which won over the BSGR chief executive, who betrayed his owners, according to secretly recorded conversations.
In 2019, through the mediation of Nicolas Sarkozy, the businessman settled his issues with the Guinean authorities.
* On December 17, 2020, Romania delivered the final verdict on the sale of the Benyasa farm, in which two Israelis were sentenced to 5 years in prison – billionaire Benjamin Steinmetz and Tal Zilberstein.
The Romanian Supreme Court found the Israelis participants in a criminal conspiracy to misappropriate dozens of hectares of state land through bribery of government officials.
In January 2021, a Swiss court found Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmatz, head of Beny Steinmetz Group Resources, guilty of corruption and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. In addition, he was fined 50 million Swiss francs.
He retains dual citizenship, Israel and France, while calling himself an “international Israeli”. He spends most of his time at his home in Arsuf, Israel, north of the coastal city of Herzliya, famous for its expensive real estate. He also has a home in Geneva (Switzerland) and a yacht, which is usually moored in the south of France.