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Tax charges: MTN takes action

Nov 23 2012 09:32 Reuters

Interpol has been instructed by a Ugandan court to serve criminal summons against current and former MTN executives relating to one of the East African country’s largest tax evasion cases.

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Johannesburg -  Telecoms group MTN [JSe:MTN] has lodged a complaint with the Uganda judicial service against one of the east African country's chief magistrates, after MTN's senior executives were summoned to face tax fraud charges.

MTN accuses the magistrate of unprofessional conduct after MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa and 12 officials including the chairperson and CEO of MTN Uganda were summoned to court on December 12 to face charges of tax evasion, conspiracy to make false customs declarations and conspiracy to evade taxes.

MTN said it had not been aware of the summons and heard of them through media reports.  

"A perusal of the summons shows that, although the order to issue them was made on November 19 2012, they were dated November 7 2012," which was also a day after the magistrate who issued them transferred the case to the director of public prosecutions, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

"There was no charge sheet on the record nor was there a record of proceedings before (the magistrate) between November 6, when she pronounced her ruling in an open court with counsel for all parties present, and November 19, when the order was supposedly issued."

The company has previously denied the charges and says they were initiated by a former employee who himself is accused of defrauding MTN of millions of dollars.

MTN has sued the employee for embezzlement. He had initiated the case against MTN as a private prosecution last month but a court ruled on November 6 the public prosecutor should take it over.

The magistrate's court was not immediately available to comment.

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mtn  |  tax fraud

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