Independents Chair Says He Has no Part in Dubious Trade Skip to content

Independents Chair Says He Has no Part in Dubious Trade

Independence Party chairman Bjarni Benediktsson was asked about his involvement in trade undertaken by holding company Vafningur on RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós on Wednesday and denied having part in any dubious actions.

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Bjarni Benediktsson. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Independence Party chairman Bjarni Benediktsson was asked about his involvement in trade undertaken by holding company Vafningur on RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós on Wednesday and denied having part in any dubious actions.

Mr. Benediktsson who has been active in the local business sector since 1999 has in the local tabloid DV been portrayed as one of the architechs in a complex scheme to use funds from the insurance firm Sjova in a way that is now being investigated.

During the interview Mr. Benediktsson explain in detail that he had never been a board member of Sjova nor had he anytime been consulted in any way about the investments that Sjova had undertaken.He explained that his role had been to sign on behalf of shareholders a confirmation letter were the holding company Vafningur placed assets as pledge for loans granted by the now fallen bank Glitnir.

Vafningur bought assets from insurance company Sjóvá, including buildings in Macao and British stores. Sjóvá had acquired these assets through its reserve fund, Morgunbladid reports. These assets among others were then used by Vafningur as collateral for a loan Vafningur received from Glitnir Bank in February 2008. The assets were put up be the owners of Sjova and had not in any way been discussed with other sharholders of Vafningur prior to the deal being struck.

He also pointed out that neither the companies nor the trade that he was involved in are being investigated—the treatment of Sjóvá’s insurance fund and the company’s acquisition of the aforementioned assets is under investigation.

“I had nothing to do with that acquisition and I wasn’t on the board of Sjóvá and I’m not going to take responsibility for something that happened there,” Benediktsson stated. He pointed out that the responsible parties are the owners of Sjova Insurance at that time.

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