Asked for Advice on How to Deceive Greenlanders

Vala Hafstað

Among the 30,000 documents released by WikiLeaks this week on the dubious operation of Samherji, a leading Icelandic company in the fishing industry, in Namibia, is an email from another Icelandic fishing company, Síldarvinnslan in Neskaupstaður, asking Samherji directors for advice on how to deceive Greenlanders in order to obtain fishing rights and goodwill, mbl.is reports.

According to Fréttablaðið, which carries the story on its front page today, Gunnþór Ingvason, managing director of Síldarvinnslan in Neskaupstaður, the East Fjords, sent three Samherji directors – Aðalsteinn Helgason, who retired in 2016, Jóhannes Stefánsson, now turned whistleblower, and someone with the email siggi@samherji.is - the following email:

“Hi, guys,

It so happens that our friends [sic] in Greenland, Henrik Leth, just asked me to jot down for him what is needed in terms of investment, fishing, processing and harbor construction in order to open a fishmeal and pelagic fish factory in Ammasalik [on] the east coast of Greenland.”

Henrik Leth is the chairman of Polar Seafood Greenland.

“He is not thinking about building anything. Instead, some locals in Greenland, along with some others, are trying to obtain quotas and goodwill from government by pretending to intend to construct in East Greenland,” the email continues. “Don’t you have some points ready, even though they apply to Africa?”

Samherji directors receive Gunnþór’s request well. “Maybe it’s a question of reserving Marocco, what do you think of that?” Jóhannes responds, direction his question to “Siggi.” “Gunnþór, are you asking for something detailed, or just in the form of a presentation?” he then asks.

“No, just points [regarding] what’s required,” Gunnþór responds.

Gunnþór’s email was sent on April 30, 2014 and carries the subject title: New Settlement.

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