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  • Writer's pictureMaren de Klerk

The people who enabled Samherji to avoid paying billions in taxes in Namibia in the Fishrot scandal

Samherji recently defended its Namibian operations against an article published in Finance Uncovered, an investigative journalism training project. According to a Twitter thread, the article claims Icelandic fishing giant embroiled in Namibia’s #Fishrot corruption scandal may have avoided paying millions in Namibian taxes through its dealings with group companies in Cyprus, Mauritius and the UK.

Whistleblower @JohannesStefans has told Namibian investigators in his affidavit that Samherji shifted significant revenues to group companies in what he believed was a tax avoidance scheme.

It shows how Samherji’s Namibian subsidiaries sent at least 93 million Namibian dollars (US$8.2 million) in controversial fee payments to the group’s companies in low-tax Mauritius and the UK.

Documents also show how Samherji’s Namibian companies appear to have sold fish below market prices to a group sales company in Cyprus.

Samherji for its part strongly denies.

This of course stands in stark contrast to leaked emails wherein lawyer Andrew Theunissen of Theunissen Louw and Partners instructed the in - house counsel of auditors firm BDO Spencer Steward’ Simon Steyn to avoid paying billions in taxes due to the Namibian government.

Monies that could have been used to build hospitals, clinics, schools, and roads.

The Namibian tax authorities have taken no steps against Theunissen or Steyn thus far for their obvious criminal complicity in avoiding taxes due to the Namibian people. Steyn practises as a tax consultant in Paarl , South Africa. Does their conduct warrant a criminal case docket to be opened against them for tax avoidance- without a doubt it does.

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