Zimbabwean police are investigating Econet Wireless for suspected money laundering, AFP reported citing a search warrant issued on 17 July.
Police want Econet to disclose its customers’ details and records of all transactions conducted in the first half of 2020.
In June, the government suspended mobile money transactions provided by telephone operators, with services continuing for daily individual transactions but being capped for merchant transactions.
Information Ministry Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana blamed mobile money transfer platforms for galloping inflation, and said that the government was in “possession of impeccable intelligence” that telephone service providers were involved in illicit activities that were sabotaging the country’s economy.
The government also suspended all trade on the country’s stock exchange, which it accused of being complicit in illicit financial activities.
In the 17 July search warrant, police specialist investigator Mkhululi Nyoni said he had “reasonable grounds to suspect that Econet Wireless… is involved in money laundering activities”.
Police said there is information that the firm has fraudulently created fake subscribers to transfer mobile money to other accounts, to be converted to cash. The runners would in turn buy foreign currency in the black market before being externalised (abroad), said the warrant.
The company, which has some 10.5 million customers, was ordered to surrender all the requested documents within seven days. Econet’s spokesman Fungai Mandiveyi declined to comment.
9mobile Rewards Customers With N59m, 3,000 Smartphones
Nigeria’s leading customer-centric telecommunication company, 9mobile, has continued to reward customers with millions of naira and smartphones across the country.
So far, the promo has rewarded over 59 customers with N1million each and given out 3,000 smartphones and counting to lucky winners. The promo, designed to reward 90 lucky customers with N1 million daily, will also give out two smartphones every hour for 90 days and a grand prize of N10 million at the grand finale.
At the launch of the campaign in August, the Chief Executive Officer of 9mobile, Mr. Alan Sinfield, had stated that the promo was designed to support Nigerians during the uncertain and challenging times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We realize the challenges people are faced with during this period, and we have designed this promo to help cushion the effects of the Covid-19 in Nigeria as families and individuals continue to confront the economic impact of the pandemic. This promo also demonstrates our philosophy that customers are at the core of our business, so we continue to prioritize them in our decisions.”
From the Ibadan 9mobile Experience Centre, it was all smiles for Ade Odewunmi Oluwaseun, a sophomore student at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic who won a million naira.
Speaking on her win, she said “I never believed it until I got here only to see that it is real. My mom is a single parent and things have been challenging. So, I will give the money to my mother so that she can use it to cater for my elder sister and me.”
Also, Mr. Suleiman Hassan who hails from Gombe State, exuded joy as he said “I appreciate 9mobile because if I could win from my location in Gombe State, then everybody stands a chance of winning in this Mega Millions Promo. A huge part of the money will go to charity.”
Another million naira winner, Mrs. Suzy Madaki, a civil servant in Kaduna State was fulsome of appreciation to 9mobile for the Mega Millions Promo initiative.
“When I got a call from a 9mobile customer service representative that I have won a million naira I didn’t believe the promo was real. That is why I won’t blame anyone who feels the same way now. All I can say to them is that the promo is very real”.
In the same vein, Mr. Muhammad Kashala also struck gold as the Mega Millions Promo will enable him to start his cloth merchandizing business in earnest. “I am so surprised that this is real. I will like to appreciate 9mobile for this wonderful opportunity they have given me. With this winning, I will start a clothing business,” Mr Kashala said.
The 9mobile winning train also recently made a stop-over in Bayelsa State where Mr. Preye Abariye Andrew, lauded the telco for the gesture and promised to donate part of his N1million to charity. “I urge people to believe that the promo is real, 9mobile is a good network for people to use. I will donate items to orphanages and think about my future.”
From the Port Harcourt Experience Center, Engr. Kalagbo Chinedu, who also won N1million said he never believed in his wildest dreams that the Mega Millions Promo was real let alone winning a million naira in the promo.
The Mega Millions Promo adopts a recharge and win mechanism. To participate, customers can simply recharge their lines with N200 or more to win a smartphone every hour or top-up N1000 and above to win the N1million daily prize. A cumulative recharge of N10, 000 monthly over the 90 days duration of the promo qualifies customers for a chance to win the N10, 000,000 grand prize.
With 31million Naira and over 1,400 smartphones left to be won, participants can increase their chances of winning with frequent recharges. New customers will also get up to 100% data bonus for 12 months with free 1GB and N500 airtime.
French 5G Spectrum Sale Raises EUR 2.79 Billion
The final stage of the French 5G tender ended on 01 October, completing the sale of 310 MHz of spectrum in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band.
Telecom regulator Arcep said that proceeds amounted to EUR 2.79 billion, which compares with the floor price of EUR 2.17 billion set by the government at the end of last year.
Market leader Orange accounted for the highest spend, at EUR 854 million for 90 MHz of spectrum. Altice France subsidiary SFR acquired 80 MHz for EUR 728 million, while Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile both secured 70 MHz for EUR 602 million.
In the first phase of the award, the French government had agreed to sell 200 MHz at a set price of EUR 1.4 billion, with each of the four network operators spending EUR 350 million for a block of 50 MHz.
After a pause due to the Covid-19 health crisis, the regulator was asked to oversee an auction for the remaining 110 MHz of spectrum available, sold in equal-size chunks (10 MHz) at a starting price of EUR 70 million per block.
Bidding lasted just three days, with the unit price rising from EUR 70 million to EUR 126 million by the end of the final round. In addition to the initial 50 MHz, Orange secured the most spectrum in the auction (40 MHz), followed by SFR (30 MHz). Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile were each attributed two blocks (20 MHz).
Spectrum acquired in the auction will have to be paid for over four years, while the set price of EUR 350 million will be spread over the fifteen-year duration of the licences, which can be extended by a further five years under conditions set by Arcep.
The final amount spent in the tender will be known at the completion of the last step of the award process, in which the four participants will bid in a “positioning” auction to determine where their spectrum will be placed in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band.
French operators will also be able to rely on other frequencies for their 5G deployments. These include the 700 MHz band, which was awarded by Arcep in 2015, and in future 26 GHz frequencies, still to be allocated.
orange commented that the total amount raised in the tender remains reasonable compared with other large European countries, such as Germany. CEO Stephane Richard said that the company was very satisfied with the auction process, noting that the result was “well balanced” and encouraged operators to invest.
The rules set by Arcep capped the amount of spectrum per operator at 100 MHz, including the 50 MHz block sold at a set price. Industry’s expectations were that this limit, coupled with the decision to auction blocks of equal size (10 MHz each), could keep a lid on auction bids.
Including 90 MHz in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band, Orange retains the largest portfolio of frequencies in the French market with 257 MHz overall, while SFR defends its runner-up position holding nearly 245 MHz across all bands.
Source: Telecom Paper
MTN Nigeria Top CEO Wins Award for Telecom Investments
Ferdi Moolman, the chief executive officer of MTN Nigeria has been named a Top CEO at the sixth edition of Businessday’s annual Top CEOs and Next Bulls awards.
This year’s event, organized in partnership with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) featured over 15 recipients in the category. Moolman, who has been the CEO of MTN Nigeria since 2015, was recognised for the company’s performance in the 2020 financial year.
Ferdi is the only CEO of a telecommunication company to be recognised. While at the helm, subscriber numbers for MTN Nigeria grew by 10.5 per cent in 2019 alone to reach 64.3 million subscribers; with revenues climbing by over 12q per cent.
The company has committed over N22 billion to support causes in the areas of youth empowerment, education, healthcare and community development projects through the MTN foundation; while partnering with the Bank of Industry, SMEDAN and other organisations to empower Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
Receiving the award, Mr. Moolman expressed his delight on behalf of the organisation, “It is a dream come true to not only have been listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange last year but to also witness how the market responded to this. This award is not for me, but the entire MTN family. We thank you for this recognition and commit to continue leveraging on the strength of partnerships to deliver exceptional services.”
Businessday Publisher, Frank Aigbogun says the award bestowed on Moolman and MTN Nigeria, is a testament to the resilience of their business and the stable structures put in place to keep the company running despite prevailing circumstances. He also commended the company’s efforts in supporting vulnerable Nigerians impacted by the pandemic.
The CEO of Nigerian Stock Exchange Oscar Onyema who delivered a keynote address says Nigerian businesses have gone from surviving a crisis to thriving in the new normal.
“Our market has remained active with listing activities worth over N1.26 trillion since March 24, 2020, as well as strong trading activities in the equities market with YTD losses moderating to –five per cent from -26 per cent in March 2020,” Onyema enthused.
Some of the other winners in this category include Khaled Dokani – CEO, Lafarge Africa; Roger Thompson – CEO, Seplat Petroleum; Oyeyemika Adebayo – CEO, Cadbury Nigeria Plc and Abubakar Suleiman – CEO, Sterling Bank Plc among others.
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