South African multinational telecommunications giant MTN has been sued in a US federal court by Turkcell for a staggering R32 billion. Allegations in the lawsuit include MTN bribing officials and promising Iran weapons and United Nations votes in exchange for a license to operate their cellphone service in the country.
Turkcell claims it has numerous MTN internal memos that detail the companies effort to win the Iranian contract.
“Turkcell, which initially was awarded the Iranian cellular licence, sued its JSE-listed rival on Wednesday in federal court in Washington for $4.2 billion (R32bn) in damages. The suit includes numerous alleged internal MTN memos that detail the company’s efforts to win the Iranian business after losing the bid to Turkcell in February 2004.
“Upset by the loss of the open competition, MTN sought to obtain illegally what it could not obtain through honest competition and thereafter embarked on a premeditated programme of corruption through bribery and trading in influence,” the complaint states.
MTN had noted the Turkcell filing, MTN spokesman Xolisa Vapi said yesterday, without further comment.” [iol]
Quite serious those allegation hey.
MTN Group chairman Cyril Ramaphosa has in the past issued a statement regarding the claim HERE, but since the filing in the US Federal court it has not made another statement.
Curious to see how this plays out.