Some Washington based law firms have filed the new amended complaint, on Friday, as they alleged MTN’s “conduct targeted the United States” by executing a strategy reliant on dominating markets in unstable countries not allied with Washington.
According to Reuters, The telco, which is the largest telecoms company in Africa, allegedly aided militant groups in Afghanistan, including paying protection money, in an amended lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of families of US soldiers.
The initial lawsuit was aimed at 8 multinational companies which include MTN, security firm G4S, US infrastructure group Louis Berger and consultancy Janus Global that operated in Afghanistan and Iran between 2009 and 2017.
The suit which was filed in December 2019 in the United States District Court in the District of Colombia, alleges that these companies violated the US Anti-Terrorism Act by paying protection money to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
MTN also allegedly violated the Anti-Terrorism Act by paying protection money of more than $100 million to al-Qaeda and Taliban so that its cellular towers would not be targeted for destruction. The telecoms firm deactivated those towers at night, preventing US intelligence operations,
MTN, however, has denied the allegations, asking the court to dismiss the original suit.
This appears to be another round of fresh controversy for Africa’s largest mobile operator, which has had running battles in some countres, especially with an alleged security breach.