Details of alleged telecom corruption in Myanmar

Posted on April 10, 2013  /  0 Comments

Many talk about corruption in telecom procurement by government owned telecos. Here are details:

According to a police source familiar with the probe, a suitcase containing US$2 million in cash was allegedly found in Thein Tun’s residence. Investigators are trying to establish whether the alleged funds may have originated from foreign firms, including major Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE known to be angling for potentially lucrative telecom contracts in Myanmar, according to the same source.

Authorities are also trying to gain access to bank accounts in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore where kickbacks to senior ministry officials may have been deposited, according to the same source. Both Chinese companies have voluntarily given investigating authorities documents related to their previous deals with the MPT ministry, including during Thein Zaw’s tenure as minister, according to the police source.

In a 2004 contract, ZTE provided a $150 million loan to the MPT ministry to build 300,000 fixed phone lines. That figure, a ministry official at the time estimates, was more than 10 times the real cost of the project. In comparison, he notes that ZTE later proposed to supply Nepal with a million telephone lines at a cost of just $7.5 million.


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