Jerusalem--Israeli diamond and mining mogul Beny Steinmetz was arrested Monday morning as part of a fraud investigation, various news sources reported this week.

Steinmetz owns BSGR, a natural resources and power company with mining and metal operations including diamonds, copper, iron ore and gold, and is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion, according to Forbes.

He was one of five people detained in connection with an investigation into money laundering, obstruction of justice and bribery.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the other four were: political adviser Tal Silberstein, telecommunications company Bezeq’s acting chairman David Granot, attorney Doron Levy, and Asher Avidan, a former senior executive at BSGR in Guinea.

Steinmetz and Silberstein were held in custody for further questioning. The other three were released without being charged.

According to local news reports in Israel, police said they had been investigating “a number of people on suspicion that they acted systematically together with the main suspect in order to create and present fictitious contracts and deals, among other things, in the field of real estate in a foreign country, for the purpose of transferring funds and money laundering.” They did not name the main suspect or the foreign country.

Steinmetz has not yet been charged with a crime, the Financial Times noted.

His lawyer, Ronen Rosenblum, could not be reached for comment by press time, but The New York Times reported that he told press in Israel, “We understand that the case that prompted the opening of the investigation-- the Guinea case-- has no basis and no substance.”

He added that: “We are confident that just as no charges have been filed until today in any of the investigations, the same will be true in this case.”

A number of countries, including the United States, have been investigating Steinmetz for years in regards to the alleged bribery of government officials in Guinea to win mining concessions in the country, The New York Times said. Israeli authorities previously arrested Steinmetz in December in connection with this, but he was released without being charged.

A spokesperson for Steinmetz’s company, BSG Resources, told National Jeweler that they cannot comment yet since they still don’t know the allegations against him.

Silberstein’s lawyer, Eyal Rosovsky, said that his client denies all accusations leveled against him.

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