Beny Steinmetz’s African business ventures, where he’s good at taking risks

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: Beny Steinmetz: ‘Africa, Soros and me’

By Mathieu Olivier, special correspondent in Geneva
Posted on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 20:27, updated on Monday, 17 May 2021 07:00

Beny Steinmetz arrives to a courthouse to defend himself against corruption and forgery charges in connection with mining contracts in Guinea, in Geneva, Switzerland January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

After being sentenced to five years in prison on a bribery conviction, Beny Steinmetz continues to wage a legal battle of global proportions. Who is this Franco-Israeli businessman who is on first name terms with the world’s most powerful leaders? The Africa Report had access to an exclusive interview with Steinmetz in Geneva.

This is part 2 of a 4-part series.

It is easy to imagine uber-rich businessmen climbing the red carpeted steps that lead up to Beny Steinmetz’s hotel suite. Located on the shores of Lake Geneva at the foot of the Swiss city’s old town, Hotel Métropole seems untouched by time. Some find its decor outdated. Others are paying for an identity that has changed little since the hotel opened in 1854. At the top of the stairs, a butler welcomes the sparse stream of masked guests staying at the hotel today, 21 January.

Also in this in Depth:

Beny Steinmetz: Unravelling the myth

On 22 January, the verdict was in: a Geneva court sentenced Beny Steinmetz to five years in prison for bribery in connection with the allocation of mining licences in Guinea’s Simandou region. The Franco-Israeli businessman was represented by the big-name Swiss lawyer Marc Bonnant.

Beny Steinmetz: ‘George Soros is at war with me’

Ensnared in, but also the instigator of a host of proceedings, Franco-Israeli tycoon Beny Steinmetz blames George Soros for every last one of his legal wranglings and is going after him head-on.