MTN accused of paying bribes to al-Qaeda and Taliban

MTN accused of paying bribes to al-Qaeda and Taliban

South African mobile company MTN has responded to allegations that it paid bribes to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

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According to the telecommunications giant, it is investigating the allegations leveled against it but also assured the public, “it conducts its business in a responsible and compliant manner in all its territories”.

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MTN is one of six companies to have been sued by families of almost 150 U.S. service members and civilians who were killed or wounded in attacks.

The families of US citizens killed in Afghanistan want unspecified damages for their bereaved under a U.S. anti-terrorism law.

The complaint by the families alleges that MTN made payments as bribes to al-Qaeda and the Taliban to avoid having to invest in inexpensive security for their transmission towers.

It is believed that the payments made by MTN aided the terrorist groups to finance their activities in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2017.

It is alleged that the money from MTN helped to provide "material support to known terrorist organisations," thus violating the anti-terrorism legislation.

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But Africa’s largest mobile operator said it did nothing wrong and was reviewing the complaints. “The company intends to defend its position where necessary,” it said in a statement.

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In 2015, MTN was fined more than $5bn (£3.8bn) by the Nigerian authorities for failing to cut off unregistered sim cards - a figure that was reduced to $1.7bn after a long legal dispute and the intervention of South Africa's then-President Jacob Zuma.

In February, a former South African ambassador to Iran was arrested in the capital, Pretoria, on charges that he took a bribe to help MTN win a $31.6bn (£24bn) license to operate in Iran. earlier reported that the Government of Ghana has revealed that plans are far advanced to join the eight West African countries which have committed to using the common currency, the ECO from 2020.

Government, in a statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Jubilee House, Eugene Arhin, also applauded the countries which have committed to using, a common currency, saying the move will boost integration and free trade in the sub-region.

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