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South African mobile company investigated for aiding Iran

JTA

June 5, 2012 | 12:12 pm

South African police are investigating allegations of corruption and aiding Iran against the country’s largest mobile supplier, MTN.

The company is suspected of aiding the Iranian authorities with eavesdropping on political activists. It also is accused of promising defense equipment to the Tehran regime in order to secure a mobile license supply with the Iranian telephone company.

A police spokesperson said Tuesday that the South Africa Elite Hawks investigating unit opened its investigation following a $4 billion civil suit against MTN, filed in the United States three months ago by its rival Turkcell, a Turkish mobile supplier.

Turkcell claims that MTN promised to exercise its influence with South African officials in favor of Iran’s nuclear program. Pretoria has denied these allegations and the idea that its policy is for sale.

While the affairs continue to influence the shares of MTN, one of the Iranian cell company’s largest shareholders, another Iran-related corruption affair might also return to the spotlight: South African judicial authorities are expected to publish in the coming days recommendations regarding accusations against Gugu Mtshali, the companion of South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, saying Mtshali was involved in trying to bribe South African officials to sell American military helicopters to Iran.

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