NEW YORK – Guinea's ex-minister of mines has been charged in New York City with giving away nearly total control of his country's valuable mining sector in exchange for bribes.
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Mahmoud Thiam was detained without bail after a federal court appearance Tuesday. A prosecutor said he was a risk to flee and lied about finances.
Thiam is a U.S. citizen. A defense lawyer says he lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children and is no flight threat. The lawyer says the case is beyond the statute of limitations.
Court papers say Thiam from 2009 to 2011 surrendered most of Guinea's resources for mining iron ore, gold, diamonds and raw material for aluminum to a Chinese conglomerate.
The complaint says Guinea is among Africa's poorest countries partly because of public corruption.