The case dates back to 2008 when the Franco-Israeli businessman was awarded Blocks 1 and 2 of Simandou by Lansana Conté, which were withdrawn without valid reason from the Rio Tinto group. Mr. Steinmetz was tried in Geneva for corruption of public officials. By Agence Ecofin
To obtain mineral rights to Simandou, one of the largest iron deposits in the world, Beny Steinmetz is found guilty of paying $8 million to Mamadie Touré, the fourth wife of President Lansana Conté.
Once his company BSGR owns the valuable licenses, the businessman will invest on the site $170 million before selling his rights to the Brazilian group Vale for $2.5 billion.
Alexandra Banna, president of the court, criticised the “eminently selfish motives” that allowed this embezzlement to the detriment of Guinea: “It is clear from what has been explained that the concessions were obtained through corruption … The money given to Mamadie Touré did indeed come from BSGR,” she said, adding, “President Conté had no interest in removing the rights to Rio Tinto… if it is not for personal gain or for the benefit of a third party, in this case his fourth wife”.
The billionaire will have to serve 5 years in prison and pay a fine of 46 million euros.
Source : Agence Ecofin