Zain Iraq Bank Accounts Frozen As It Fights $262 Million Fine

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Middle Eastern mobile network Zain has said it will fight a USD262 million fine imposed on its Iraqi subsidiary as the local bank assets were frozen by the regulators.

The fine was imposed back in January 2011 for allegedly breaching its operating license. The company had been accused of putting 5 million SIM cards in the local market without permission from the regulator.

Zain claimed that the regulator did not have the authority to impose the fine. Shortly afterwards, the regulator ordered the other networks to block interconnection to the 5 million SIM cards in dispute.

At the time the company said it had three months to appeal the decision, but the mobile network and regulator have been deadlocked in negotiations ever since.

"Some Iraqi bank accounts pertaining to Zain Iraq have been frozen, however we are expecting some positive news regarding this soon," Zain said in emailed response to questions from Reuters. "Our official position is that we are not liable at all for this fine."

The regulator is seeking to revise the order to limit it to bank funds up to the value of the fine, especially as freezing the bank accounts means Zain cannot pay its bills to the regulator either.

On the web: Reuters

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Tags: zain  Iraq 

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