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Steinmetz investigated in illegal royal restitution case in Romania

Published by MAC on 2015-12-12
Source: Romania Insider (2015-12-18)

Sixth richest Israeli, investigated in illegal royal restitution case in Romania

by Romania Insider

11 December 2015

Israeli investor Beny Steinmetz is under investigation in a file related to the illegal restitutions in Romania, according to official documents, quoted by Hotnews.ro.

Steinmetz, who had made his fortune from diamond mining in Africa and had invested in several real estate projects in Romania before the crisis, was apparently part of a criminal group set up by local businessman Remus Truica, former Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase’s chief of staff.

Remus Truica was arrested on Wednesday night after several hours of questioning at the National Anticorruption Directorate – DNA’s local headquarters in Brasov. The prosecutors charged him for setting up and running and organized crime group that helped Paul Lambrino, also known as Prince Paul of Romania, recover several valuable assets from the state. The state took a EUR 136 million damage from the group’s illegal activities.

Paul Lambrino, who is the nephew of Romania’s King Carol II, illegally claimed the Royal Farm and other assets and approached Remus Truica to help him with the restitution process, according to the prosecutors. Truica and his group bribed the management of a research institute that held the plot of the Baneasa Farm to accept the restitution, although Prince Paul didn’t have the legal documents to prove his claim was justified, according to the DNA file quoted by Mediafax.

The group got several assets returned to Paul Lambrino, including 28 hectares of prime real estate land in northern Bucharest, in the Baneasa area. In exchange for their services, Truica and his group got 50% to 80% of the assets’ value.

The DNA prosecutors also questioned and held Dan Andronic, the director of Evenimentul Zilei newspaper, business lawyer Robert Rosu, a partner in a top business law firm in Bucharest, Lucian Claudiu Mateescu, the general manager of local real estate developer Impact, and Marius Marcovici, an advisor to former Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, all part of Truica’s group.

Israeli political consultant Tals Silberstein, who advised many former Romanian Presidents and Prime Ministers, Shimon Shevez, the chief of staff of former Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin, are also investigated in this case, according to the prosecutors’ report.

However, the biggest name that appears in the file it that of Beny Steinmetz, one of the world’s richest 500 people according to Forbes. Steinmetz apparently talked to Remus Truica about the Royal Farm restitution, their conversation leading to believe that he also had a material interest in this affair, according to the transcript of a phone conversation, which appears in the prosecutors’ report, published by Hotnews.ro

Beny Steinmetz has an estimated wealth of USD 3.5 billion. He is the sixth richest Israeli citizen. He is also a shareholder in Gabriel Resources the Canadian company that wanted to carry out the gold mining project in Rosia Montana. Read more about Beny Steinmetz here.

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