Last Updated on August 22, 2020

Political corruption rampant in Namibia and Iceland due to bribery allegations

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Even if you do not admit it, political corruption can be seen all over the world.

It can spawn from anything especially if one party would gain an unfair advantage over other people.

Corruption in any business or country often starts with bribery.

Because of bribery allegations connected to gaining fishing rights in the region, Iceland has some explaining to do.

A big scandal that spiralled out of control and took 2 Namibian ministers from the government and the head of one of Iceland’s largest fishing company with it.

To gain exclusive fishing rights to the area, the said company bribed certain officials in South Africa.

The first people to take the fall was Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson who is the chief of Samherji; a fishing company from Iceland, and Sacky Shanghala and Bernard Esau who are Namibia’s justice and fisheries ministers.

Needless to say, this political corruption case shook the two counties so hard that the repercussions of their actions tarnished the reputations of the countries with regards to the fishing industry.

Reports said that Samherji released an amount equal to £6.2m to bribe these officials from South Africa so that they can enjoy easy access to the rich fishing locations in the area.

The bribe would come in the form of proceeds from the sales of the fish caught in these waters.

Apparently, this agreement started last 2012 and continues up to this day.

It only stopped because the government finally caught them.

political corruption no-corruption

An intricate transfer of funds gained from the sale of horse-mackerel was discovered

They transferred the proceeds to various interconnected offshore accounts before finally arriving at a shell firm located in the Marshall Islands.

The people knew about the agreement through 3,000 company papers that came from WikiLeaks.

Findings made by Stunden (an Icelandic magazine) and the television program called Kveikur also helped.

They called the documents as the Fishrot Files.

money laudering_ laudering euro

The file’s from political corruption attested to earnings that reached at least £54m that bounced back and forth from different locations from 2011 to 2018. 

Some of this money even found its way to DNB, Norway’s biggest bank.

It only goes to show that this unscrupulous agreement made millions on a global scale.

How this political corruption scandal came to be known in the world

The world would still be in the dark and these people continuing to earn dirty money if a certain person did not rise up and told the world about political corruption agreement.

Because of Johannes Stefansson, the world came to know about this despicable act.

A former Samherji employee, Stefansson had access to everything about the agreement.

He even approved the kickbacks that the company was enjoying.

Sherri did not stop there. According to him, this company would stop at nothing to harvest other countries’ natural resources and gain a profit from it.


Not just some small change as profit but big, humongous profits.

In other words, this company unlawfully uses up these countries’ supply of natural resources and they have not gained anything from it.

Iceland’s Prime Minister

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Iceland’s Prime Minister stated that if the allegations are true, this will create unrest in the industrial activity in Iceland.

Not only that, these revelations of political corruption could cause the nation to crumble if the issue remains unsolved.

They have to do something to save their reputation before it’s too late.

no bribing politician

The world’s fish stocks experienced a decline in the past few months.

Because of this, the bodies of water near Africa has been a hotbed for international fishermen because of having resource-rich waters.

Namibia has the same resource and fishermen aim to fish there to gain profits.

However, before these foreign fishermen could do fishing on these waters, the locals; namely the African and Namibian people should get their fill first of these resources.

It’s their right to being the area after all.

The Namibian peoples’ reaction toward the scandal

When news about the political corruption scandal went live, the Namibian people were outraged.

They compared Samherji to vampires that sought to suck their resources dry.

The people urged the higher-ups in the government to take strict actions to punish the people that needs punishing.

Someone should serve as an example so that this atrocity would not happen again. 

For them, the removal of the ministers could never be enough and will not return the stolen natural resources to them.

Sure, natural resources could repair itself in time but still, significant damage has been done.

The political corruption done to Namibia should be curbed through the strict implementation of the nation’s laws.

Bribery should not have its way with the law.

Imagine, these foreigners got full pockets of loot but the Namibian people suffered because of this theft of their natural resources.

They must not and will not back down.

Iceland’s reaction to the political corruption

Kristján Þór Júlíusson, the fisheries minister in Iceland and former director for Samherji is being asked not to interfere with the investigations.

Incidentally, he happens to be a very close friend of Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson; hence the request for him to step aside.

political corruption handcuffs

Him being excluded in the investigation would last until the company’s name can be cleared from the allegations.

However, he still needs to answer pending inquiries in parliament.

This should dispel the ongoing belief that the innocence of Iceland as a whole could never be substantiated anymore by political corruption.

More Namibian news

In a surprising reversal, the ruling party in Namibia’s government blames the corruption that encompasses the country as of the moment.

They claim that the country already has a culture that feeds the political corruption in the land.

They believe that the root cause of the issue would be the government itself, calling it, “weak” because of laws not having enough “teeth”.

To resolve the issues hounding the government and the country, corruption must be purged from its very core.

Only then would the country could rise from the ashes of this scandal.


That said, political corruption exists anywhere in the world. The people must be vigilant and report any forms of corruption to the government; hoping that it would be removed from the country’s system and not be taken advantage of.

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