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MTN CEO was deported for 'tapping State House phone calls'

Deported: MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte

Deported: MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte

The MTN Uganda chief executive officer, Wim Vanhelleputte was deported to Belgium for allegedly conspiring with other workers to record phone conversations of high ranking government officials and security chiefs.

Last week, minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Jeje Odongo ordered for the deportation of Vanhelleputte who has been in the position since August 2016. His deportation came days after the arrest and deportation of three other senior employees of the telecommunications giant including chief marketing officer, Olivier Prentout (French), mobile money general manager, Elsa Mussolini (Italian) and Annie Tabura (Rwandan) who was the general manager for sales and distribution at the telecom giant.  

According to a reliable source in security, intelligence operatives kept a keen eye on Vanhelleputte and even had his phones tapped immediately after the three employees were deported. 

The operatives were able to discover that Vanhelleputte kept in constant communication with the three staff members even after they were deported. He was also alleged to have been speaking to MTN group top management on their behalf. 

It is also alleged that when Internal Security Organisation (ISO) operatives raided the MTN data center at Mutundwe last year, they discovered that MTN was tapping phones of ministers, security chiefs and State House. 

Intelligence sources say that after being reported to the Inter-Agency Security Committee about his actions, Vanhelleputte was first summoned to record a statement at Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka and it was after that it was unanimously agreed that he should also be deported. 

Deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye when contacted refused to explain the exact reasons for Vanhelleputte's deportation. So far only Mussolini has spoken out on her deportation. In her statement, she revealed that she had been accused for inciting violence by allegedly funding member or parliament Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bob Wine.  

There are on-going investigations against other MTN staff members for allegedly compromising national security using their positions at the company. The employees have since recorded statements with the SIU. 

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