Mauritius Telecom CEO, who leaked Indian team visit, under lens for China links | World News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Mauritius Telecom CEO, who leaked Indian team visit, under lens for China links

Aug 01, 2022 02:31 PM IST

The country’s Central Criminal Investigation Department Special Cell has questioned Sherry Singh for three possible offenses: Breach of Information & Communication Technologies Act (Icta), Diffusion of False News and Criminal Defamation.

A scandalous connection between Chinese technology company Huawei and the former CEO of Mauritius Telecom could have a huge impact on India’s national security, if not for the Mauritius government declaring a war on Huawei which has strongly penetrated the telecommunications sector in the island nation. Rumour mills started working overtime as soon as Sherry Singh resigned as chief executive officer of Mauritius’s national telecommunications company last month after heading the company for more than seven years.

Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In a letter to MT employees, Singh said he’s unable to continue as CEO without “compromising my values”, adding that it was “not an option” for him. He then, in two separate interviews, leaked about the visit by an Indian team that conducted a survey in the island country on the request of Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

He claimed that Jugnauth had “forced” him to allow the “Indian team” access to a facility with the aim of installing a “sniffing device”.

Singh’s claim fuelled speculations around India’s role but Jugnauth was forthright on the government’s position.

Not only the Mauritius PM blasted the opposition parties for casting aspersions on India, but he also highlighted the security issue that the island country was facing. Jugnauth said in a statement that he had personally approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi “to send a competent team for this survey.”

He added, “In Mauritius, we don’t have the technicians for this survey, but even if we did, we preferred to go for this Indian team of technicians.”

The statement was as assertive as it could have been.

At a regular briefing, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Jugnauth’s statement regarding the controversy was “good enough” from India’s perspective.

But there’s more to what meets the eyes.

The issue of the allocation of contracts to Huawei under the era of Sherry Singh points towards the unholy alliance between the executive and the Chinese government. Some senior executives of MT have expressed serious reservations about certain processes during the allocation of contracts, according to local media reports.

During the 2006-07 period, contracts worth hundreds of millions of rupees were awarded to Huawei, which skyrocketed to billions of rupees under Singh. The former MT CEO is accused of using selective bidding exercises to help Huawei expand its business. The more problematic aspect of the link between MT and Huawei is the management of the data center, for which Huawei is responsible.

The country’s Central Criminal Investigation Department Special Cell has questioned Singh for three possible offenses: Breach of Information & Communication Technologies Act (Icta), Diffusion of False News and Criminal Defamation.

Unlock a world of Benefits with HT! From insightful newsletters to real-time news alerts and a personalized news feed – it's all here, just a click away! - Login Now! Get Latest World News along with Latest News from India at Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, February 23, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On