TEL AVIV Dec 19 Israeli police detained a
prominent Israeli businessman on Monday on suspicion of bribing
public officials in Guinea, a country with vast mineral deposits
and mining operations, to promote his business interests there.
A police spokesman would not identify the businessman, but
said Israeli investigators had worked with law enforcement
agencies in the United States, Switzerland and Guinea before
Guinea's former minister of mines, Mahmoud Thiam, was
arrested in New York last week on charges he was involved in
bribery payments linked to Guinea's mining industry.
The Israeli police said in a statement the businessman,
along with other Israelis living abroad, were suspected of
paying tens of millions of dollars to senior public officials in
Guinea to advance their businesses.
Israeli media reported the businessman detained operates in
Africa in mining and diamond and that suspicions against him
were raised after a company he is connected with received
control of a large mine in Guinea at almost no cost.
The company later sold rights to the mine to a large mining
company in South America for billions of dollars.
Israeli police said the suspect, who at this stage has been
detained for questioning, may appear in court later on Monday.
(Reporting by Tova Cohen and Ari Rabinovitch; editing by Luke