BSGR associate arrested in USA over Guinea corruption allegations

An associate of Israeli diamond billionaire Beny Steinmetz has been arrested in the USA on charges related to how Steinmetz’s BSG Resources won a concession to one of the world’s largest untapped iron ore reserves.

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Frederic Cilins, a French-Israeli citizen was arrested on April 14 by US security forces and faces charges of tampering with a witness, obstructing a criminal investigation and other allegations, according to documents seen by Steel First.

Cilins arrest is part of a wider investigation, led by US justice forces, into the acquisition by BSG Resources (BSGR) of Blocks 1&2 of the Simandou iron ore deposit in Guinea. 

BSGR was handed the concession to Blocks 1&2 of the Simandou project after they were stripped from Rio Tinto by former dictator Lansana Conte in 2008. 

In a statement on Tuesday April 16, the Guinean government thanked US justice officials for their participation in the operation.

“The arrest and investigation supports the government of Guinea’s policy of transparency. We welcome support from the USA in our efforts to strengthen the rule of law in Guinea,” Guinea’s minister for justice Christian Sow said.