Samherji Tax Audit Concludes with Settlement Skip to content
Þorsteinn Már Samherji
Photo: Samherji CEO Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson.

Samherji Tax Audit Concludes with Settlement

Samherji has reached an ISK 230 million ($1.6 million / €1.5 million) settlement with the Directorate of Tax Investigations in Iceland, RÚV reports. The audit into the company’s books is, therefore, considered complete, although another investigation into alleged bribery and money laundering in Namibia is still undergoing.

Two cases concluded via settlement

In a press release published last week, Samherji announced that an investigation launched by the Directorate of Tax Investigations (DTI) in Iceland into two companies within the Samherji Group has concluded with a settlement. The investigation was opened following revelations made by the investigative news programme Kveikur in 2019, RÚV notes.

According to the settlement, Samherji and another related company, Sæból, have been made to pay approximately ISK 214 million ($1.5 million / €1.4 million) plus interest and penal interest as a result of the DTI’s reassessment. Samherji will also pay a non-criminal fine of ISK 15 million ($105,000 / €97,000).

Settlement means confidentiality

Experts interviewed by RÚV stated that a settlement means that the case will remain a private matter between Samherji and the Directorate of Tax Investigations and will not go to court, where additional facts concerning the audit could become public.

In the aforementioned press release, Samherji noted that the district attorney’s office has dropped criminal charges against the companies and their employees and confirmed that neither the managers nor the employees of the group have been guilty of criminal offences in relation to the audit.

District Prosecutor Ólafur Þór Hauksson confirmed to RÚV that the tax side of the office’s investigation into Samherji had been transferred to the tax authorities, which is why the district prosecutor’s investigation into Samherji’s books has been completed. He noted, however, that the office’s investigation into alleged bribery and money laundering by Samherji in Namibia is still under investigation and that that investigation is well advanced.

RÚV was unable to reach Þorstein Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji, following the company’s press release, and when the media outlet requested numerical data concerning the case, a representative for the company referred to the press release. Bryndís Kristjánsdóttir, Director of Tax Investigations, has yet to respond to RÚV’s requests for an interview.

An unusually heated discussion

Samherji’s press release quotes CEO Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, who maintains that the DTI took the initiative to conclude the investigation with a settlement:

“In these cases, a thorough investigation was carried out on all operations within the Samherji group. The company collaborated with integrity with the tax authorities and provided all requested documents. It should be noted that the Director of Tax Investigations took the initiative to end the cases amicably. There has been an unusually heated discussion about our company and our people, both in the media and in Parliament. It is, therefore, a great relief to be able to clear away serious accusations with the confirmation of official institutions. The key point here is that the cases are now over without any lawsuits being filed against the company or any individual.”

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article