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MTN CEO Detained at Entebbe Airport; Accused of Threatening ‘National Security’

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of telecommunications company MTN Uganda, Wim Vanhelleputte has been detained at Entebbe International Airport as he awaits his deportation to Belgium later tonite.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga on Thursday night revealed that Wim is being kicked out of the country for charges related to national security. 

He said the deportation was “Over similar circumstances of national security.” 

Enanga, who is in Adjumani, did not reveal details. 

However, the incident follows earlier deportations of French Cameroonian Olivier Prentout, Rwandese Annie Bilenge Tabura, and Italian Elza Muzzolini, over national security concerns.

The three were linked to activities of supporting subversive activities backed by a foreign government using MTN Mobile Money (MOMO) and numerous unregistered SIM cards.

Deputy Police publicist Polly Namaye last month said Prentout and Bilenge were held over their “engagements in acts which compromise National Security.” 

She added: “We strongly believe that the deportation of the two foreigners, who were using their employment as tools to achieve their ill motives, has enabled us disrupt their intended plans of compromising our national security.”

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Enanga today revealed that Wim “is already at the airport and destined for Belgium around midnight.”

A Belgian national, Wim was today Thursday arrested, handcuffed and escorted to the airport by Immigration officials.

The deportation order signed by Internal Affairs Minister, Gen Jeje Odong, provides that Wim must be “deported from and remain out of Uganda indefinitely.”

Odong ordered: “And I further declare that this order shall be carried into effect by the removal of the said Wim Van Vanhelleputte by deportation and while awaiting to be conveyed to the place of departure shall be kept in custody.”

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