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Uganda deports MTN chief to Belgium over ‘national security’

MTN Uganda said at the time that it took the “criminal incident” seriously and had reported it to the authorities while adding it didn’t believe it was under investigation.

Uganda, Kampala, Feb 15 – Uganda deported the Belgian head of South African telecoms giant MTN’s local branch on Thursday night, with police saying he was a threat to national security.

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said that MTN Uganda’s chief executive Wim Vanhelleputte had been deported “over national security”.

“He’s already at the airport and destined for Belgium around midnight,” he said late Thursday.

Vanhelleputte had been in the role of CEO since July 2016 at the Uganda branch of MTN, which operates in 22 African countries.

His deportation comes nearly a month after a French national and a Rwandan employee of the company were forced to leave the company for using their positions to “compromise national security”.

Last July, MTN said armed men claiming to be from Uganda’s Internal Security Organisation “kidnapped” two of its contractors and forced them to open up the company’s main data centre, where they made an unsuccessful attempt to access servers.

MTN Uganda said at the time that it took the “criminal incident” seriously and had reported it to the authorities while adding it didn’t believe it was under investigation.

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