Serbian police searching for CEO of wireless carrier |

Serbian police searching for CEO of wireless carrier

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro – Police issued a search warrant Monday for a former executive of Serbia-Montenegro’s main mobile phone provider, Mobtel, after he allegedly ignored an information request.Patrick Harpur, who was managing director from mid-2003 until May, had declined to give information to investigators about a 2003 agreement under which Mobtel sold its rights for the province of Kosovo to a company there, police said.The government last week revoked Mobtel’s license over the allegedly illegal contract with the Kosovo company, Mobikos, and appointed rival and partly state-run mobile phone provider, Telekom, to manage Mobtel until the issues are resolved.It declared the 2003 deal illegal, saying the Belgrade-based Mobtel had violated regulations and “jeopardized national security” by selling part of its license without asking for necessary government permission.Harpur responded by sending a statement to Belgrade-based Beta news agency, saying he was “shocked” by the warrant.Without specifying his current whereabouts or whether he would talk to the investigators, Harpur insisted that Mobtel never sold its license for Kosovo but “merely made an agreement on technical cooperation” to ensure normal operation in the southern province that has been an international protectorate since 1999.The government’s claim “is a blatant fabrication,” Harpur said.

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