South Africa's MTN being investigated for briberyBy XINHUA | Wednesday, June 6 2012 at 14:15
An investigation has been launched into alleged corruption involving South Africa's mobile operator MTN Group over its operations in Iran, authorities said on Tuesday.
The investigation targets allegations that MTN had used bribery to beat its rival Turkcell Iletisim to win a licence in Iran, said MacIntosh Polela, a spokesman of the special police unit Hawks.
"There are allegations of corruption. That's exactly what we're investigating," Mr Polela said.
Mr Polela’s remarks came two days after the local media revealed a senior former MTN executive had admitted to bribing South Africa's former ambassador to Iran to thank him for assisting the mobile giant.
The executive, Chris Kilowan, recently testified before the Columbia District Court in Washington DC for Turkcell, Turkey's largest mobile operator, in its $4.2-billion lawsuit against MTN for "stealing" its Iranian mobile licence.
Turkcell filed the lawsuit against MTN in a US court in March, alleging that MTN had bribed South African and Iranian officials to obtain a $2.4-billion licence in Iran.
Turkcell also accused MTN of influencing South Africa's foreign policy in regard to the country's vote at the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning Iran's nuclear programme.
But the allegations were denied by both MTN and the South African government. MTN made no comment on the Hawks investigation.
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