Three Icelandic Samherji employees, Ingvar Júlíusson, Egill Helgi Árnason and Aðalsteinn Helgason are among the 26 parties to be charged with money laundering and tax evasion in the Fishrot investigation in Namibia, RÚV reports. In a press release, Samherji states that the charge is not a surprise in light of the accusations Namibian prosecutors have issued based on the assertions of Jóhannes Stefánsson, whistleblower and manager of Samherji’s operations in Namibia until 2016.
Namibia’s Prosecutor General published the charges this morning, charging 26 parties, individuals and corporations, with 14 charges such as racketeering, money laundering and tax evasion. Ingvar, Egill Helgi and Aðalsteinn managed or co-managed Samherji’s companies in Namibia. Egill Helgi is charged for his work for Esja Holding and Mermaria Seafood Namibia. Ingvar was financial director for Saga Seafood, Esja Investment and Heinaste Investments. Samherji’s release stated that according to Namibian laws, a charge against a company automatically constitutes charges against its executives.
There are 14 charges. Three of them deal with Icelanders, accused of breaking laws on organised crime, money laundering and tax evasion. They will need to appear before the Windhoek High Court in Namibia April 22.
Samherji’s website states that the charges aren’t a surprise in light of former accusations, which they maintain are based on assertions by Jóhannes Stefánsson. However, Rúv reports that the Fishrot investigation in Namibia is also based on an independent investigation by the Namibian Prosecutor General, which also looked into payments made after Jóhannes left the company, data from Samherji, and payments that passed between companies related to Samherji and the so-called Sharks.
Samherji’s statement reads: If a charge will be issued for [Namibian companies connected to Samherji], that will be Samherji’s first chance to defend itself, but such a charge will be fought full force.”
The Fishrot Scandal involved Icelandic Seafood Company Samherji’s dealings in Namibia and its alleged bribes and connections to higher-ups in the Namibian government.