South African police have seized documents from the offices of mobile phone operator MTN Group after Turkey’s Turkcell launched a $4.2 billion lawsuit over a disputed Iran licence, MTN said on Tuesday.

Turkcell alleges that the South African mobile company used bribery and wrongful influence to win a lucrative Iran licence originally awarded to Turkcell.

“MTN remains of the view that Turkcell’s claim is opportunistic, an abuse of the process of court, baseless and without merit,” the company said in a statement, adding it was cooperating with authorities.

A spokesman for the elite police unit, known as the Hawks, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Istanbul-based Turkcell first brought the suit against MTN in the United States in 2012. A year later it withdrew the U.S. suit and filed in South Africa, where the case has been stuck in procedural wrangling since.

A South African court allowed the case to go to trial a year ago.
The case in South Africa, which a Turkcell lawyer has said could be heard towards the end of the year, is the fifth legal proceedings by Turkcell against MTN over the same issue.

Meanwhile the company’s affiliate in Uganda MTN Uganda have said that the security agents who stormed the company’s data center in Mutundwe, Kampala last week failed to unable to log into their servers to obtain the information they were in need of.

MTN Chairman Board of Directors, Charles Mbiire made the revelation along with the Ag. CEO, Anthony Katamba, who were addressing the media at their offices in Kampala.

Uganda’s leading telecom MTN have said that the security agents who invaded the company’s data center in Mutundwe last week were unable to log into their servers to obtain the information they needed. Charles Mbiire MTN Uganda board Chairman said as he was addressing at their offices in Kampala.

MTN say that on July 2 at around 5pm, two employees of Huawei Uganda, a contractor of MTN, were kidnapped from MTN Towers by armed men in civilian clothing who claimed to be Internal Security Organisation (ISO) Agents.

MTN said it had raised the issue with ISO, Ministry of Security and other agencies.

Additional reporting by George Mangula

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