MTN's history of scandal

MTN Group President Sifiso Dabengwa. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
MTN Group President Sifiso Dabengwa. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town – Mobile network MTN’s $5.2bn fine in Nigeria is not the first time the operator has found itself in trouble in countries where it operates.

Last week Monday, mobile network MTN confirmed that it's been fined in Nigeria for failing to disconnect up to five million unregistered SIM cards.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has subsequently launched an investigation into MTN over how it made the announcement of its fine last week. The JSE also said that it's studying trades made prior to MTN's fine announcement last week to determine if there was any possible insider trading.

But this is just the latest controversy for MTN in Africa and the Middle East.

- In 2012, rival Turkcell accused MTN of bribing officials in Iran and promising the country weapons to win a mobile licence in that country.

- In Uganda in 2011, MTN staffers were alleged to have manipulated the Mobile Money platform to steal 16 billion shillings ($160m).

- In 2012, MTN in Zambia came under fire for an IT specialist that had allegedly manipulated the company’s Let's Go BEEG promotion to allow his girlfriend to win the $500m prize. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in the country advised that competitions should more transparent.

- Closer to home, in 2013, MTN’s chief corporate services officer, Robert Madzonga, was at the centre of a storm where he was accused of diverting sponsorship money for an ICT indaba.

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