Friday, May 4, 2012, Kingston, Jamaica: Digicel was served with a search order by the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) late this afternoon. Officials from the TAJ were accompanied by members of the police force bearing high-powered firearms who prevented Digicel staff leaving at the end of the working day - which has resulted in major and unnecessary upset amongst Digicel staff.
For some months, the TAJ has been conducting an audit of the information systems and data of the telecommunications sector. Digicel has at all times co-operated and complied with the various information requests made subject to the constraints of the Telecommunication Act in terms of the protection of confidential customer information.
Digicel is shocked and offended by the abuse of process and approach undertaken by the TAJ in this matter - especially as all information which the TAJ was seeking pursuant to the order, and which the Telecommunications Act allowed Digicel to provide, had already been supplied. This appears to have been ignored by the TAJ - although it was previously acknowledged by the TAJ in written correspondence that Digicel had provided information in “the usual timely manner”.
In protection of Digicel’s rights, Digicel has secured late this evening a stay of execution from High Court Judge, Evan Brown, which prevents the TAJ from continuing to carry out the search. Even more concerning is the fact that the TAJ initially refused to comply with the sealed order of the Court when it was served on them.
Digicel strongly refutes any form of wrongdoing which is to be inferred from what is considered to be a blatant witch-hunt and fishing expedition on the part of TAJ.
Digicel intends to use every possible legal avenue to pursue those involved - both directly and indirectly - in this matter.
Digicel will be returning to Court on Tuesday and will be vigorously be protecting all its legal rights including asking the TAJ officials why they ought not to be cited for Contempt of Court.