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Former ARTP boss held for possible embezzlement of licence funds

17 Mar 2010

The authorities in Senegal have arrested the former head of the national telecoms watchdog, Daniel Goumala Seck, on suspicion that he stole funds from the award of a telecoms operating licence to Sudan’s Sudatel, Reuters reports Seck’s legal representative as saying. The one-time boss of the Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications et des Postes(ARTP) is accused of having siphoned off 2% of the USD200 million received in 2007 for himself and other unnamed ARTP officials, rather than use the funding to expand the watchdog’s operations. Seck has yet to be charged and no word is given on whether or not it will jeopardise Sudatel’s position at all. The newcomer launched Senegal’s third mobile network last year but has so far failed to make any inroads in a market dominated by France Telecom-backed Orange Senegal with 4.61 million users, or 67% of the sector, at end-2009. Tigo Senegal, a unit of Millicom International Cellular, had 2.09 million users at the same date while Sudatel’s Expresso operation had 203,067.

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