The Dutch fishing company Parlevliet & Van der Plas (PP) is involved in a corruption affair concerning fish quotas in Namibia. This has emerged from research by research collective Spit for De Groene Amsterdammer.
The Dutch fishing company Parlevliet & Van der Plas (PP) is involved in a corruption affair concerning fishing quotas in Namibia. This has emerged from research by research collective Spit for De Groene Amsterdammer.
The company from Katwijk owns half of a Polish company that plays a role in diverting profits from Namibia. The other owner is the Icelandic fishing group Samherji, which is at the heart of the bribery case.
Between 2012 and 2019, Samherji paid bribes to politicians and businessmen in Namibia in exchange for cheap fishing quotas. The proceeds from the lucrative fishing catches the company funneled out of the country through a maze of companies in different countries in order to avoid taxes.
In Namibia, the former Ministers of Justice and Fisheries and a number of prominent businessmen are now in custody. The lawsuit is expected to start in December. In Iceland, a judicial investigation is being conducted into six (former) employees of Samherji.
The Icelanders fished in Namibia with three enormous ships. One of those freezer trawlers was the Saga. The Saga was managed by Samherji’s Polish subsidiary Atlantex. A leaked 2014 business plan shows that the Polish company charged a 15 percent surcharge on its operating costs. Profits shifted from Namibia to Poland, for example, which meant Samherji paid less tax.
Also read the article: WHAT SAMHERJI WANTED HIDDEN (inc full documentary)
In the late summer of 2018, Parlevliet & Van der Plas bought half of the shares in Atlantex for 50,000 euros. “With that, PP became part of the Fishrot affair,” said whistleblower Johannes Stefansson, a former Samherji employee who exposed the corruption late last year by leaking 30,000 documents to Wikileaks.
These so-called Fishrot Files show that the bribe payments continued until January 2019. Until then, the Saga was fishing in Namibian waters.
In other words: during the period that PP was managing the Saga through Atlantex, this ship fished for quotas obtained with bribes in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Namibia. And it was partly responsible for the Namibian crew.
He became unemployed overnight at the beginning of this year when the Saga left Walvis Bay in the middle of the night and sailed for Las Palmas, fearing that Namibian authorities would seize the ship.
Parlevliet & Van der Plas Samherji also appears to have helped maintain Polish EU fishing quotas. From September 2018, Samherji let the ship Saga sail under the Namibian flag for tax reasons. To maintain the Polish quota, Atlantex needed a new ship. PP then sold its largest ship, the Annelies Ilena, to Atlantex for EUR 60 million.
According to three different experts, the purchase price is much too high. The ship was built in the late 1990s for 63 million euros. The current value would be closer to 35 million euros. “It looks like PP helped Samherji out and got paid for it,” Stefansson says.
Parlevliet & Van der Plas denies in a response that Atlantex was in charge of the Saga after the company from Katwijk became a shareholder.
In the international ship register IMO of the United Nations, Atlantex is listed as manager of the ship until 24 July 2020. The sale price of 60 million euros for the Annelies Ilena is according to the company market.
Article translated from ‘De Groene Amsterdammer’