Nigeria’s central bank has ordered four banks to refund $8.134bn that MTN illegally sent out of the country in breach of foreign exchange regulations, the central bank said on Wednesday
A report by Reuters and published by Businesslive.co.za said Standard Chartered was fined 2.4-billion naira ($7.86m), Stanbic IBTC Bank 1.8-billion naira, Citibank 1.2-billion naira and Diamond Bank 250-million naira.
The Nigerian telecommunications regulator, Citibank, Standard Chartered and Diamond Bank were not immediately available for comment.
A spokesman for MTN declined to comment, while a Stanbic IBTC spokesman said a statement would be issued shortly.
Last November, Nigeria’s Senate approved a report largely exonerating MTN, following an investigation after the business was accused of illegally repatriating $14bn to its parent company.
At the time, the Senate also asked Nigeria’s central bank to sanction Stanbic IBTC "for improper
Parliament’s upper house agreed in 2016 to investigate whether Africa’s biggest telecoms firm unlawfully repatriated $13.92bn from Nigeria,
Meanwhile, shares in MTN Group plunged as much as 19 percent early on Thursday, a day after Nigeria ordered the South African telecoms group and its bankers to return $8.1 billion.
Nigeria’s central bank said the funds had been illegally moved abroad. MTN denies the allegations reports Reuters.
At 0713 GMT, the stock was down 14 percent at 92.12