Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 June 2021:
The Sierra Leone Telegraph has learnt that the Chief Executive of one of the country’s top mobile and internet access provider – Orange, has been arrested along with three others for tax fraud and alleged espionage, but the Attorney General on advice of State House is blocking their prosecution.
The Chief Executive Officer of Orange Mobile Company Aminata Kane and three other senior staff of Orange-SL were arrested and detained by officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) but were later released on bail pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph contacted CID headquarters to obtain further information on the investigation, but no comment was received.
A source at the CID however told local newspaper – Fritong Post that Kane (Photo: Sitting in the white chair), and the other three suspects were granted Le100 million bail and surrendered their travelling documents.
The source also says that they are being treated as “diplomatic suspects” and have been asked to report every day to the CID until such a time when the investigation is completed, or the matter charged to court.
The investigation of Orange-SL comes as the company is said to be trying to clean-up its corporate image following investigations by the National Revenue Authority for alleged tax evasion.
Orange-SL was recently fined by the country’s telecoms regulator, NATCOM, for tampering with network frequency in Kamboi-Blama and Blama-Gbandi. NATCOM ordered a fine of over Le4 billion for the illegal use of Upper 6GHZ Microwave Transmission Frequency that affected the operations of other service providers.
Today, the company issued a press statement denying that its Chief Executive and the company were being investigated for tax fraud, despite this photo above of their Chief Executive Aminata Kane sitting at the CID.
Following publication of the press statement, the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph contacted its head of PR – Annie Wonnie Katta who told the Sierra Leone Telegraph that the lady seen in the photo at the CID in Freetown is not the Chief Executive of Orange-SL.
But several sources in Sierra Leone have confirmed that the lady in the photo is indeed the Chief Executive of Orange-SL, Aminata Kane.
With the Attorney General’s office now sitting on the investigation files, it is unlikely that this case will ever get to court because of State House interference.