Watchdog chief casts doubts on telecoms tax fraud claim
February 7, 2016
The National Anti-Corruption Commission’s sensational allegations of massive tax fraud by big telecoms companies may not have been based on thorough investigation, the head of the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB) has said.
“They were too fast in drawing conclusions,” Jean Louis Beh Mengue, the general manger of ART, said in Douala last week. “This is a file still under review at the TRB and it is too early to draw conclusions and make recommendations.”
In a report that analyst have hailed and condemned with nearly equal vigour, NACC claimed telecoms giants MTN and Orange unduly received tax and licence fee breaks totalling some than 52.5 billion francs. Both companies and the state-run Camtel also owed about 170 billion francs in taxes, the report released on 19 January said.
MTN, Orange and Camtel have all fought back the reports as baseless and even false.
“MTN Cameroon is not and has never implicated in corruption-related actions, in the exercise of its activities,” MTN said in a statement a day after the report was released.
The company said “its interactions with the government of cameroon and its representatives have always been transparent, and in conformity with the Laws of the Republic of Cameroon.
“MTN Cameroon is a responsible investor and is up to date with regard to its fiscal obligations to the relevant authorities in Cameroon in accordance with all applicable rules and regulations.”