Telecom CEOs Say Debts to Mfone Are Far Less

Executives at some of the telecommunication firms indebted to bankrupt mobile operator Mfone said Thursday they owe much less than claimed by the company, and will negotiate with Mfone’s administrator to find a resolution before a complaint is filed in court.

“We do owe Mfone money, but substantially lower than they claim,” said MobiTel CEO Ian Watson. “We have written to the administrator several times to arrange clearance of our debt but have received no response from them.”

Ouk Ry, the administrator charged with liquidating Mfone’s assets, said Wednesday he plans to file a complaint with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court against MobiTel and five other telecommunication companies for failing to pay more than $1 million in fees for services rendered.

Mr. Ry said Wednesday that MobiTel alone owes Mfone $359,053. Mr. Watson declined to say how much less MobiTel owes.

“They should come talk with us if they do not agree with the figure…. We will file a complaint against the six companies with the Phnom Penh court as early as next week if they do not pay,” Mr. Ry said.

In addition to MobiTel, Metfone owes $552,452; WING Cambodia Co. Ltd. owes $157,191; Telcotech Ltd. owes $97,900; Royal Telecam International Co. Ltd. owes $56,453; and A2 Communications Co. Ltd. owes $1,004.

WING CEO Anthony Perkins said Thursday his company is negotiating with Mfone over reciprocal debts because before going bankrupt, Mfone had not returned equipment that it borrowed from WING.

“Despite requesting the return of this equipment on numerous occasions, it has not been forthcoming, thus our latest communication with the administrator was to deduct the value of the equipment from the figure owed,” he said. “Once [the amount is] agreed with the administrator, WING will pay in full.”

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