Kuwait’s Zain Has Iraq Bank Funds Seized for Unpaid Fine

Zain (ZAIN) Iraq, a unit of Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co. (NMTC), has had its funds seized in all Iraqi banks until it pays a $262 million fine for selling 5 million SIM cards without permission, Iraq’s telecommunications regulator said.

“We have warned them to pay the fine,” Ahmad al-Omari, a member of the Communications and Media Commission’s trustee board, said by phone today from Baghdad. “This procedure has been carried out as a punishment.”

The commission said on its website in February 2011 that the fine was imposed on Zain for putting 5 million subscriber identity module cards on the local market without permission. Zain Group said at the time that it didn’t know why Iraq’s media and telecommunications regulator had imposed the fine.

To contact the reporter on this story: Khalid Al-Ansary in Baghdad at kalansary@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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