Israeli magnate Beny Steinmetz detained in Athens on arrest warrant
Israeli diamond and minerals magnate Beny Steinmetz is being detained in Athens after he was arrested several days ago in Greece on an international arrest warrant.
Steinmetz was stopped on November 23 at the Greek capital’s international airport due to a red flag alert issued by Interpol on Romania’s request. The businessman was convicted by the Romanian Supreme Court on December 18, 2020 over fraudulent land deals and the warrant was issued to enforce the five year prison sentence.
However, Interpol’s supervisory committee (CCF) said on October 29 that the warrant against Steinmetz be erased as it was “politically motivated.” Greek authorities had not updated their records.
He remained for two days in the airport’s detention cells before being led before a prosecutor. Steinmetz was released but he will have to remain in the country until his case is clarified.
In January 2021, the businessman was convicted by a Swiss court to five years in jail and ordered to pay a 50 million Swiss francs fine for bribing public officials to win access to lucrative mining rights in Guinea in the 2000s. Steinmetz is appealing.