MTN denies wrongdoing in Cameroon as watchdog alleges fraud

MTN has stated that “it is not and has never been implicated in corruption related actions” in Cameroon after being implicated in fraud by the country’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (Conac).

Conac has accused three operators – MTN, Orange and state-owned CamTel – of costing the state as much as $289 million through tax and royalty evasion, as well as illegal tax rebates. MTN has refuted these claims, stating that its “interactions with the government of Cameroon and its representatives have always been transparent, and in conformity with the laws of the Republic of Cameroon”.

MTN went on to note that with regard to taxes and custom duties, it is in the top 2 contributors to the Cameroonian state. The operator added that it is “up to date with regard to its fiscal obligations to the relevant authorities in Cameroon, in accordance with all applicable rules and regulations”.

Conac’s accusations cover a period between 2010 and 2014, during which time it claims that the three implicated operators conspired to receive illegal tax rebates from both the ministry of finance and the ministry of post & telecommunications. It also denounces the regulator for failing to respond to this collusion.

It is unclear whether MTN has received a copy of Conac’s report. For its part, Conac Vice President Garga Haman Adji has stated that operators should expect a legal investigation into these allegations. This would be a further blow to MTN, which is currently embroiled in a dispute in Nigeria over a $3.9 billion fine issued to the operator after it failed to disconnect unused SIMs to comply with security regulation.

Orange and CamTel have not yet responded to the allegations.

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