Guinean Authorities Investigating Simandou Rights, U.S. Says

A French citizen with ties to BSG Resources Ltd., charged with obstructing a U.S. grand jury investigation into bribes paid to win mining rights in Guinea, should continue to be held without bail because he may flee, the U.S. said.

In a memo to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisha Kobre said that Frederic Cilins must remain in U.S. custody. Kobre provided new details about Cilins’s case, saying in a memo filed today that in addition to the U.S. probe, the government of Guinea is investigating “whether a particular business entity not based in the United States engaged in the mining industry and its affiliates obtained the Simandou Concession by means of bribes paid to officials of a former government of Guinea.”

While the U.S. didn’t identify the company, prosecutors gave more details about the Guinea company under investigation and said the “entity” is “a Switzerland-based mining conglomerate with, according to its website, operations in 12 countries and ‘over a billion dollar annual turnover.’”

The entity “stands to lose the Simandou Concession--worth billions of dollars--depending in part on the result of the ongoing corruption investigation by Guinean authorities,” prosecutors said in the memo. They said Cilins, who held himself out as a representative of the entity, tried to bribe a cooperating witness and obstruct the grand jury investigation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Hurtado in New York at pathurtado@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Farr at sfarr@bloomberg.net

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