Hawks raid MTN over allegations of bribery in Iran

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Reports have emerged that the Hawks raided the offices of MTN as well as law firm Webber Wentzel last week Friday.

The raid is part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of bribery brought forward by Iranian cellular service provider Turkcell.

MTN is accused of bribing the Iranian government to secure an operating license in the country in 2004. According to the Hawks, during the tender process to secure said license a winner was selected only to have that decision overturned in favour of MTN in 2005.

“The Hawks serious corruption investigation, and the priority crime and specialised investigation units, conducted a search and seizure operation at MTN and Webber Wentzel attorneys last week Friday on allegations of foreign bribery,” Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told Fin24.

The spokesperson went on to say that the raid was conducted to obtain documents and equipment that relate to the Iranian deal.

Webber Wentzel, where MTN is a client, said that it was reviewing the lawfulness of the warrant used by the Hawks.

MTN has called Turkcell’s claim “an abuse of the process of the Court” and said the allegations are baseless and without merit.

“When the allegations made by Turkcell were first raised, MTN appointed an Independent Special Committee under the Chairmanship of the eminent international jurist, Lord Leonard Hoffmann, to investigate the allegations. Lord Hoffmann embarked upon a thorough and exhaustive analysis of the investigations. He found that Turkcell’s allegations, which rested entirely upon the evidence of one Mr Christian Kilowan, were all ‘a fabric of lies, distortions and inventions’; and that Mr Kilowan was shown to be ‘a fantasist and a conspiracy theorist’,” MTN said in a statement.

That having been said, Turkcell clearly believes it has a case given it has tried and failed to bring this case before a court five times.

The firm has said it looks forward to seeing what evidence the Hawks had gleaned from its raids.


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.


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