Business Hilights
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MTN, others studying US claims of paying protection money to al Qaeda, Taliban

South Africa’s telecoms giant, MTN Group and other global deep pocket multinationals in the United States of paying protection money to militant Islamist groups in Afghanistan including al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The allegations included also of providing material support to known terrorist organisations to avoid possible attacks on their installations and general business, activities seen in national security assessment as violating the United States Anti-Terrorism Act.

The complaint follows investigations by a group of large Washington-based law firms, which claimed that some firms provided “material support” to known terrorists leading to numerous US injuries and deaths, according to a statement by the law firms involved.

Reuters reported on Monday that the complaint was filed in the United States District Court in the District of Columbia on Friday.

Whereas the complainant is seeking damages on behalf of the United States military members and civilians killed or wounded in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2017, reactions have started coming from named firms including MTN group.

According to the continental telecoms giant in a statement to Reuters, “MTN is reviewing the details of the report and is consulting its advisers but remains of the view that it conducts its business in a responsible and compliant manner in all its territories.”

Business Hilights also gathered that the United Kingdom security services company, G4S, which was also named in the lawsuit, declined to comment.

The statement signed by the MTN spokesperson, Ms Nompilo Morafo, said “We cannot comment further than what we’ve said in the statement. We want a chance to review the allegations. We only received the suit on Friday and we’re still going through it. I also can’t confirm how long it’s going to take.”

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