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CORRUPTION

Telenor CEO was behind chairman exit

The incoming chief executive of Norwegian telecoms company Telenor himself uncovered the suspicious information that forced the resignation of the company’s chairman on Friday, Norway’s VG newspaper has reported.

Telenor CEO was behind chairman exit
Telenor chief executive Sigve Brekke at the company's results last week. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix
Sigve Brekke, who took up the chief executive position this August, told the newspaper that he had discovered documents concerning the company’s chairman Svein Aaser while working on the sale process of Telenor’s share in Vimpelcom, the scandal-hit Russian telecoms operator. 
 
“I saw some matters that I found it appropriate to inform the board about,” Brekker said. “This was information that the board believed was so important that they wanted to take it to the Minister of Industry,” Brekke said. 
 
US and Dutch authorities have accused VimpelCom, in which Telenor has a 33 percent interest, of paying bribes between 2007 and 2011 to obtain business in Uzbekistan.
 
Swedish prosecutors have put the suspected payments at $55 million, but Telenor in February published a copy of an anonymous email passed to Norway’s trade ministry which argued that Vimpelcom could have paid closer to $300m. 
 
In January Aaser and the company’s previous chief executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas told a parliamentary hearing in Norway that Telenor had not found any proof of corruption in Uzbekistan. 
 
On Sunday Brekke said Telenor had hired a Norwegian law firm to carry out an investigation of Telenor’s role in Vimpelcom since it bought its stake in 2005. 
 
“In Telenor, there should be absolutely zero tolerance for corruption,” Brekke said in a press conference on Sunday. “We will be an open company and I want us to leave no stone unturned to bring clarity to our involvement in Vimpelcom, which is being investigated in connection with possible illegal money transfers to Uzbekistan.” 
 
Brekke said that having zero tolerance for corruption would not stop Telenor operating internationally.  
 
“Everybody in the world should know that Telenor fights against corruption at all levels. It will be our competitive advantage,” he said. 
 

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SAMI

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Found out what’s going on in Norway on Tuesday with the Local’s short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
The northern lights in Tromsø. Photo by Lightscape on Unsplash

One in ten international students in Norway has had Covid-19

Ten percent of overseas students studying in Norway, compared to just 2.9 percent of Norwegian students, have had Covid-19, according to the Students Health and Well Being Survey (SHoT).

Some 62,000 thousand of Norway’s 300,000 students responded to the survey.

READ MORE: Are Norway’s Covid-19 numbers on track for reopening?

Overall, nearly three percent said that they been infected with the Coronavirus, just over half have had to self isolate, and 70 percent took tests.

Woman in her 40’s charged with murder

A woman has been charged with murder in Halden, southeast Norway after a body was found in an apartment in the towns centre.

She will be questioned on Tuesday. A public defender has been appointed. 

Six police cars attended the scene at a small housing association in the centre of Halden.

A person found in the same apartment is being questioned as a witness.

Network provider Telenor’s revenues down 2.1 billion kroner compared to last year

Telenor’s revenues are down 2.1 billion in the first quarter and the company has written of its 6.5 billion kroner investment in Myanmar following Februarys military coup.

The mobile network operator became one of the first foreign providers in the country and had gained a 35 percent market share.

However, the country’s new military regime shut down the mobile network on March 15th.

“In Myanmar, we are experiencing a confusing and uncertain situation. We are deeply concerned about the development in the country,” The company stated in its quarterly report.

Norway and Sweden in reindeer border dispute

Swedish Sami reindeer herders will appear in court this week in a case against the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The Swedish Sami herders believe they have exclusive rights to grazing areas across the Norwegian border because they have lived in the surrounding area for hundreds of years. The Norwegian government rejects these claims.

The reindeer grazing convention will be central to the case; the convention facilitates mutual cross-border grazing for reindeer herds.

Sweden withdrew from the convention in 2005. However, Norway enshrined the convention in law in 2005.

483 Coronavirus infections recorded

On Monday, 483 new cases of Covid-29 were registered, an increase of 75 compared to the average of the previous week.

READ ALSO: Norway considers lifting measures for people who have had their first Covid vaccine 

This is down from 1150 cases registered during the peak of Norway’s third wave on March 16th.

This is partly because fewer infections are registered during weekends and public holidays, causing an uptick on Mondays.

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