An apology letter signed by Samherji CEO Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson was published in today’s issues of Fréttablaðið and Morgunblaðið, Iceland’s most widely distributed print newspapers. In the letter Þorsteinn Már references the company’s “reprehensible business practices” in Namibia, apologising “personally and on behalf of the company.” A more extensive apology was posted on the company’s website. Vísir reported first.
One of Iceland’s largest seafood companies, in 2019 Samherji was the subject of a media investigation that revealed documents suggesting the company had bribed Namibian government officials to gain access to lucrative fishing grounds, while also taking advantage of international loopholes to avoid taxes. The award-winning investigation led to arrests and resignations in Namibia, and Þorsteinn Már stepped down as the company’s CEO, only to be reinstated in the position five months later.
The published apology letter makes no reference to a media-targeting scandal the company was implicated in earlier this year, on which a previous statement was issued. It expresses the company’s will to “learn from these mistakes” and states they have taken “extensive measures” to ensure they will not happen again.