Etisalat declines having hand in Indian telecom scam

EtisalatTaking a strong exception on being involved in telecom corruption in India, the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (etisalat) on Wednesday rubbished the charges adding that it has nothing to do with the UAS license application process.

The Indian primary investigation agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Shahid Balwah, vice-chairman of a joint venture with Abu Dhabi's Etisalat, for allegedly being instrumental in getting telecom license on preferential basis. One of such firm is Swan in which Etisalat owns 45 per cent stake.

Etisalat claimed that it acquired stake in Etisalat DB (formerly Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd), in December 2008 while the 15 Unified Access Services (UAS) licenses had been offered thereafter.

The firm said in a statement, "Etisalat had no involvement whatsoever in the UAS license application process: it is a subsequent external investor, who entered the Indian market bringing its international expertise and resources, which purchased its stake in the company on the bona fide belief that the licenses have been validly granted."

The multi-billion telecom scam has charged political atmosphere in India and undermined Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.