Samherji Chose DNB for a Reason

Vala Hafstað

Norway’s good reputation internationally is the reason the Icelandic fishing company Samherji chose to do business with the Norwegian bank DNB in relation with its operations in Namibia, whistleblower Jóhannes Stefánsson, who used to direct Samherji’s operations in Namibia, tells .

The company is involved in a controversy, following the release last week of 30,000 documents by Wikileaks, suggesting that the company obtained fishing quotas by paying bribes to government officials.

Jóhannes states he is prepared for punishment for his role in the alleged violations. “But now, I sleep well at night,” he adds.

In the interview, Jóhannes admits he went along with the culture that thrived within Samherji. “I did everything I had to do to ensure Samherji a mackerel fishing quota. The message from CEO Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson was that bribes should be paid if that were necessary in order to obtain more quota for the company,” he states.

“What Samherji did was wrong, but I can’t say I tried to change it,” Jóhannes confesses.

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