After the first published article investigating the West African Mobile Group Operator, more people have come forward to shed light on this case. We have received further details from inside sources about the agreement breach between a renowned Service Provider and Operator under the Mobile Group Operator involved in this dispute.
Even though the breach was caused by the Operator Group, the West African Operator was left to face the discord alone. As such, the Service Provider has no other option but to open a legal case with the Operator to reserve their rights. The breach undermines a number of points in the contract between Service Provider and Operator including, the preferential selling rate agreement.
One of the seniors working for the Service Provider, who asked to speak anonymously with us, gave more details about the breach and mentioned that at a later date, he will provide valid proof and documentation to support his version of events. He also expressed his intention of exposing the name of the Operator.
As stated by the source of the Service Provider in recounting the events:
“The West African Mobile Operator were not aware of what was going on. The Operator works really in a professional way and was one of the best partners we ever worked with. They spent a year negotiation to sign this deal, they are smart, professionals and hard workers. The running business units of the West African Mobile Operator were not aware of the contract breach and after further investigation, they discovered that it was made from the Mobile Group Operator itself.”
“I remember it was during the end of our day and the NOC shift was changing and handing over the trouble tickets. We informed them about this issue and looped all seniors from the West Operator side, their technical & operational team was panicking, it was unusual for them, we were helping them in retracing and testing. On the commercial level, they were surprised like us, when the incident started, and it took them a couple of days to investigate and to know what was going on. After they checked internally, we were informed, apologetically, that the Group had connected with the Operator. Our accounting and finance were requested to divert their payment to a bank in the Gulf instead of the usual bank in the operator home country where it operated, but we rejected and decided to terminate the agreement. It was one of the days where you would be expected to be congratulated and appreciated, but then boom, an e-mail knock you down. What’s more is that it was non-contractual, very surreal. Such a waste of revenue opportunity at a time when this African country was in dire need of foreign currency.”
The operator was accused of illegally repatriating billions of USD to its parent company (as mentioned in our previous article). They were made to settle prepayments via unified bank accounts in the Gulf region where their group head offices are, even though the vast majority of the group’s OpCos are based in Africa.
Upon the breach made by the Group, they could have left the Operator to deal with very difficult circumstances. If the Service Provider would have taken action to shut down all their systems and firewall provided to the Operator as part of the agreement, this would have caused immediate failure of the service for more than 50M subscribers that belongs to the Operator. However, the Operator requested not to engage them in issues related to the Group and to keep the systems active and in place to have a smooth replacement. Due to the long-standing relations between Service Provider and Operator, they (the Service Provider) gladly accepted and showed good will by keeping their systems active for the entire period the Operator had requested.
In their defense, the Operator claimed they did not breach the contract and were invoicing the group while respecting the rate differences. However, the evidence found, is not in favor of this defense statement. Documents show that contractual requirements were not upheld.
It is believed by some, that the Group Operator seniors are aware of these breaches and might shift responsibility of such acts onto top management executives. If such a claim is true, this may have serious implications for those concerned.
At this point, the Service Provider is awaiting a legal outcome in court, noting that they have full evidence to justify their claims and prove the breach. Their legal teams action plan in the upcoming months will be to submit a notice to the honorable finance public prosecutor in all countries the group operates in to enlarge the investigations.
A former employee of the local Operator came forward to describe how at times, the whole company would feel frustrated with internal affairs that limited the scope of their opportunities.
“All the group Operators diligently set out to develop and implement better services for their customers. However, their strategic plan for growth is always curbed by limitations set by the Group Operator.”
We will continue this investigation and present more evidence on the case in the coming weeks – with names of all parties (from the group) concerned and involved in these suspected activities.
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