Police detain Bezeq’s acting chairman David Granot

Police detain Bezeq’s acting chairman David Granot

Israeli police arrested David Granot, acting chairman of telecoms operator Bezeq, yesterday as part of a wider investigation into an alleged mining fraud.

Granot was appointed acting chairman at the end of June after the company’s owner Shaul Elovitch, who was then chairman, was put under a separate investigation by the Israel Securities Authority over alleged insider trading.

In July Bezeq’s CEO, Stella Handler, and Elovitch’s son Or Elovitch, a director of Bezeq, were briefly placed under house arrest in connection with that case.

Bezeq has not commented on the latest case, except to acknowledge that it happened. According to Israeli press, Granot was one of five business people who were detained for questioning on Monday, apparently in connection with the arrest of Beny Steinmetz, a mining billionaire. Granot has not commented on the case. 

According to the reports, the other individuals are not known to be connected with Bezeq, thought the Haaretz newspaper said among those arrested were “two other prominent businessmen, whose names were barred for publication”, as well as a strategic consultant, Tal Silberstein, who has worked for political figures in Austria, Romania and Ukraine as well as Israel.

Bezeq, which owns the Yes cable TV operation and the Pelephone mobile phone company, has said that it is not involved in the Granot investigation, though it is understood the board will have to decide whether to find another acting chairman until the Elovitch case is resolved.

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