IPPR calls for global isolation of Samerji

Staff Writer

The Institute of Public Policy Research has called on international suppliers, customers and business partners of Samerji to review their relationship with the Icelandic fishing giant accused of massive corruption in Namibia.

IPPR, who is campaigning both in Namibia, Iceland and internationally, says it is time for all ‘’stakeholders to prove their commitment to fighting corruption and bring justice and reparations to the people of Namibia’’.

The bribery scandal that has been dubbed Fishrot and was first exposed by Al Jazeera was uncovered through the leaking of over 30,000 documents.

Samerji is the largest fishing company in Iceland and is alleged to have paid millions of dollars to political figures and their associates in Namibia to divert fishing quotas away from local businesses and inflate its own financial performance and profitability, according to a statement issued by IPPR at the weekend.

‘’Fishrot is the largest corruption scandal in both Namibian and Icelandic history. The value of transactions flagged as suspicious by Namibia’s Financial Intelligence Centre in connection with the Fishrot scheme is reported to be around US$650 million.’’

The largescale theft of the Namibian resource, IPPR continues, had a devastating impact on the Namibian fishing industry, local fishing communiti9es and the broader economy.

Ten Namibians, including the former minister of Fisheries, Bernhard Esau, ex-justice minister, Sacky Shangala have been trial awaiting for close to two years, but no steps have been taken to extradite Samerji suspects to Namibia.

The research group calls on the governments of the United States, UK, Germany, France, Poland, the Netherland, Norway and Faroe Islands ‘’to take all available steps to ensure that proceeds of crime are not entering their economies through Samerji’s international investments made using proceeds of its Namibian busineness’’.

IPPR wants an assessment be made of the human right and economic impact of Samerji’s Namibian activities, full reparation be paid to affected communities and for an operational grievance mechanism to address specific issues of local communities and individuals.

It further urged the Namibian government to introduce further governance reform, particularly by amending the Marine Resources Act, which according to them enabled Fishrot.

By Observer