Acting Chief of Israeli Telecom Titan Detained in Relation to Beny Steinmetz Affair

David Granot's detention is another blow for Bezeq, which has been contending with an inquiry into its owner, Shaul Elovitch

David Granot
Ofer Chen

David Granot, the recently appointed acting chairman of the Bezeq telecoms group, was one of the five businessmen detained for questioning by police Monday morning in connection with the detention of Israeli mining magnate Beny Steinmetz, also earlier today. The company, which is publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, announced the fact of his detention but stated that it did not know the circumstances.

The suspicions center on forgery, use of a forged document, money laundering, fraud, breach of trust, obstruction of justice and more. Granot and others will be brought before the courts for extension of their demand on Monday afternoon, following a material turn in the investigation earlier in the day.

Bezeq stated that as of its announcement, it knows nothing about the investigation against Granot and the others, its circumstances or content, but from what it has been told, the affair does not concept it. Nor does the probe concern the investigation by the Israel Securities Authority that the company announced on June 20 and in subsequent immediate announcements.

Although Bezeq stipulates that it isn't involved in whatever led to Granot's detention, his arrest is another blow for the company. Its owner and chairman Shaul Elovitch is under investigation himself, by the securities authority, over inside transactions. That is why Granot had been appointed acting chairman in the first place, just a few weeks ago.

Now the company has to decide whether to name a different acting chairman. As of Monday mid-afternoon, Bezeq stock was down 1.8% on heavy turnover.