Atlantic Wireless (Liberia) may be sold, paper says

10 Jan 2013

The fate of Liberian mobile network operator Atlantic Wireless (Libercell) hangs in the balance, local paper New Dawn reports, as state prosecutors consider the sale of the unit due to its USD734,963 debts to the government. Discussions on the outcome were due to take place yesterday with local Tax Court Judge, Eva Mappy Morgan, with the Finance Ministry reportedly keen to to sell Libercell for USD1 million because of its payments defaults. A spokesman for the state, Powell Duan, said the courts gave the cellco 15 days to settle the debt, but it failed to do so, leaving the sale of the operator as the only option. Mr Powell says the ultimate decision on Libercell’s fate will be based on the outcome of the discussions with Judge Morgan.

In December last year, the Supreme Court in Liberia gave the judge control over the handling of Libercell’s tax arrear trial, following a three-month delay enforced by a High Court stay order. The tax court’s order called for Libercell’s shut down due to its failure to pay USD1.47 million in back taxes to the government. On 5 December Judge Morgan issued an order for the cellco to pay USD734,963 by 22 December 2012.