MTN accuses local shipping company in USD3.8bn fraud case

10 Sep 2012

Local newspaper the Daily Monitor reports that Uganda’s largest cellco by subscribers, MTN Uganda, has allegedly been ‘conned’ out of UGX9.5 trillion (USD3.772 billion) in undelivered network equipment. The paper claims that Ugandan authorities are investigating a fraud case filed by South-African backed MTN against Threeways Shipping Group Ltd, with the courts blocking the accounts of the shipping company at the behest of investigators. Threeways has been accused of ‘submitting fictitious invoices totalling to over USD3.8 billion’ between 2009 and 2012 as shipping charges for network equipment that was paid for by MTN yet no goods had been shipped by the supplier. On the need to block the accounts of Threeways, police told the Anti-Corruption Court: ‘If the… accounts are not blocked, [Threeways] may transfer/withdraw the monies on the accounts and as such MTN Uganda Limited and the government of Uganda will lose a colossal amount of money which may be difficult to recover.’

Jeff Baitwa, the managing director of Threeways said that the company was not aware of any fictitious invoices given to MTN rather, Baitwa held that the cellco had queried two invoices ‘which we clarified and the matter went quiet and the next thing we see is the correspondences with the police.’

Uganda, MTN Uganda