Yusuf Saloojee, former ambassador to Iran, arrested in relation to MTN deal
‘Saloojee was allegedly involved in facilitating the reversal … of a cellphone operating licence awarded to Turkcell, by the government of Iran, which was later handed to MTN SA,’ police say
The South African Police Service (SAPS) says Yusuf Saloojee, the country’s former ambassador to Iran, has been arrested following allegations that corruption was involved when the Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri consortium won a deal to operate in Iran.
“Saloojee was allegedly involved facilitating the reversal or cancellation of a cellphone operating licence awarded to a Turkish mobile company, Turkcell, by the government of Iran, which was later handed to MTN SA,” the police said, referring to MTN.
“Saloojee allegedly pocketed R1.4m for his role; the money was deposited into an account of a firm of attorneys. The alleged payment was used toward the purchase of a house in Pretoria.”
MTN, Africa’s largest wireless operator by sales, has been pursued by Turkcell since 2005 over corruption allegations related to the acquisition of a 49% stake in a telecommunications operator in Iran. MTN has always denied wrongdoing.