Icelandic company to sue over seizure of vessel
Publish date: 13 February 2020
Issue Number: 696
Diary: Legalbrief Forensic
Icelandic fishing company Samherji says it is planning legal action against the Namibian authorities over the seizure of its vessel, Heinaste. The vessel was seized in Walvis Bay on Friday by the Namibian police's investigative unit as part of the ongoing investigation into the Fishrot scandal. The Namibian reports that the confiscation was carried out in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. This after a Namibian court released the vessel to its owners and fined its captain US$64 000 for contravening the Marine Act by illegally fishing in a restricted area. ‘It is our view that the renewed seizure of Heinaste is wrongful under Namibian law and we will now take necessary legal steps in Namibia in court if necessary,’ said company CEO Bjorgolfur Johannsson in a statement. As previoulsy reported in Legalbrief Today, the company in January said it planned to withdraw its businesses from Namibia. It is accused of paying kickbacks to Namibian politicians such as former disgraced Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala and Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau. They are facing corruption and money laundering charges.