Mr. Steinmetz’s business dealings were investigated in several other countries, including the United States, Romania and Israel. His legal troubles began after his group, BSG Resources, defeated Australian mining company Rio Tinto in 2008 for half of the rights to drill for iron ore in Guinea, which houses some of the richest deposits in the world. The company sold half of that stake to the Brazilian mining giant Valley in a deal worth $ 2.5 billion.
In 2014, after a review launched by the democratically elected president Alpha Conde, the Guinean government accused Mr Steinmetz’s company of corruption and paid millions through a representative of Mrs. Toure.
The US Department of Justice has also investigated Mr Steinmetz’s companies for potential corruption, saying some of the alleged payments were sent through US banks. He was arrested briefly and He was interrogated by Israeli authorities in 2016 and 2017.
Mr Steinmetz’s company struck a deal with the Guinea government in 2019 to abandon the project, but the group remained stuck in legal disputes with Vale and Rio Tinto, who claimed they lost money on the project.
Ms Duparc, of Public Eye, has called for a “public trial” of the practices of the mining groups as a whole. In a statement, the group said the allegations against BSG Resources showed how “tax havens can be used to hide questionable – or even illegal – activities in countries with poorly managed and regulated.”
Mr. Steinmetz’s family has ties to Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law. In 2017, The New York Times reported A company that invests money for Mr. Steinmetz’s brother and long-time business partner, Daniel, along with his son Raz, has partnered with the Kushner Companies in dozens of apartment buildings around Manhattan and Jersey City.
Civil society organizations have lobbied for proposals that would add accountability to companies headquartered in Switzerland for their actions abroad. One of these proposals, which would have held companies in Switzerland accountable for human rights violations and environmental damage committed by their subsidiaries abroad, failed to Referendum last year.