The Chairman of NATCOM (National Telecommunications Commission) has imposed a Le250M (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Leones) fine on Transnational (SL.) Limited.
Mr. Momoh Konte told newsmen in Freetown on Friday 10th June that, the sole agent of South African-based Multi Choice has deliberately been violating regulatory directives.
The NATCOM Chairman also accused Transnational of revising the cost of subscriptions for their services without consulting the Commission. Mr. Konte further accused the company of currency manipulation.
In a warning letter to Transnational (SL) Limited dated 18th May, 2016 the Director General of NATCOM, Senesie Kallon reminded the company that, “The position of the Commission on the said revision of the cost of subscriptions effected on the 9th of May is that, it is not consistent with the prevailing Official/Bank Exchange Rate. Moreover, the said revision was not done in consultation with the Commission. Therefore, it is unilateral and unacceptable”.
NATCOM is responsible for the protection of the Broadcasting Spectrum utilized by Transnational (SL) Limited and the company pays regulatory fees to NATCOM.
The Chairman of IMC (Independent Media Commission), Ambassador Allieu Kanu said at the press conference that his Commission “fully endorses” the decision taken by NATCOM against Transnational (SL) Limited.
A member of Civil Society, William Sao Lamin said that, the decision taken by NATCOM to impose a fine on Transnational (SL) Limited was “quite in place”.
A senior member of the Consumer Protection Agency, Commissioner Ibrahim Kabia accused Transnational of extorting money from unsuspecting subscribers.
Meanwhile, the NATCOM Chairman has given Transnational (SL) Limited seven working days to comply with the order of the Commission or face being shut down. Meanwhile, A spokesman for Transnational (SL) Limited declined an interview with the Global Times last night.
See Letter Below.
NATCOM Writes Transnational (SL) Limited
The General Manager/Deputy CEO
Transnational (SL) Limited
62 Wilkinson Road
18th May 2016
RE: UNILATERAL REVISION OF SUBCRIPTIONS TO THE SERVICES PROVIDED BY TRANSNATIONAL (SL) LIMITED
We write in relation to the above subject and to refer to all previous meetings with the Commission, including the meeting held on Wednesday 18th May 2016 in the premises of the Commission
Please be informed that, the protection by the Commission of the Broadcasting Spectrum utilized by your Company in the provision of your services, is a very crucial regulatory function. In respect of the regulatory function, regulatory fees are being paid to the Commission. Therefore it follows that the Company is under the regulatory regime of the Commission as it relates to the protection of the said Broadcasting Spectrum against interference.
Be reminded that the position of the Commission on the said revision of the cost of subscriptions effected on the 9th of May 2016 is that, it is not consistent with the prevailing Official/Bank Exchange Rate. Moreover, the said revision was not done in consultation with the Commission.
Therefore, it is unilateral and unacceptable
In the circumstance, the Commission hereby demands that, Transnational (SL) Limited reverses its decision to effect the said revision on the 9th May, 2016, within the next 24 (TWENTY FOUR) HOURS.
Meanwhile, please submit to the Commission all relevant documents that form the basis of your above-mentioned decision, including documents relating to the remittance of funds to your Principal (Multi-Choice) in South Africa. Otherwise, the Commission shall be left with no option, but to invoke its regulatory mandate accordingly against Transnational (SL) Limited to ensure compliance.
Your cooperation in this regard is hereby sought and would be highly appreciated.