The Chairman of the Belgian Telecom Operator, Belgacom, Mr. Michel Moll, has been relieved of his post following a $1million he allegedly collected from Chinese equipment maker, Huawei, according to online reports.
Belgacom, which is considered one of Europe’s best- run telecoms company, is 53 per cent owned by the Belgium government.
Moll is being succeeded by Stefaan De Clerck, who has served as Chairman of Christian and Flemish Party and held a seat at the Belgian Chamber of Representatives.
Belgian media reported that Moll received a total of 954,000 euros from Huawei between 2010 and 2012.
This was done through monthly payments of 26,500 euros to his company 2MConcept for a consultancy services Moll began shortly after the end of 2009.
Belgacom signed a contract with Huawei for hundreds of millions of euros for the maintenance of the network and the upgrade to 3G at the expense of Nokia Siemens Networks, Belgacom old partner.
Reports say Huawei had responded that the payments were made in respect of consultancy services for market knowledge about Africa and not related to Europe or Belgium, and that there was no conflict of interest. Moll has been a director of Belgacom since 1994.
Only recently, the United States House of Representatives and the Belgium Security of State are said to have alleged that that Huawei engaged in espionage activities.
Besides, the former Head of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency Intelligence, Michael Hayden had also raised alarm relating to Huawei practices. But the company has denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports Belgium’s government estimates it will receive 394 million euros of dividend income from Belgacom in its 2014 budget, unchanged from this year, administration documents show.