OSLO (APP) – The chairman of the board of Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor Svein Aaser resigned on Friday after the Norwegian government withdrew its support for him amid an alleged corruption scandal.
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“I no longer have confidence in the chairman of Telenor’s board of directors,” Trade and Industry Minister Monica Maeland said.
“I have now received new information about the matter” which should have been revealed earlier, she said without disclosing any details.
The Norwegian state is Telenor’s main shareholder, with a 54-percent stake. The largest telephone operator in the Nordic region, Telenor has been rocked by allegations of corruption in Uzbekistan involving the Russian group VimpelCom, in which it owns 33 percent alongside Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman who owns 56.2 percent through the fund LetterOne.
VimpelCom is being investigated in the United States and the Netherlands for alleged kickbacks paid to a company linked to the daughter of the Uzbek president, in exchange for licenses in the country in the 2000s.