Repeated falsehoods by RÚV's newsroom

The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV) reported yesterday on an ongoing investigation in Norway into the business practices of the Norwegian bank DNB. Companies affiliated with Samherji were wrongfully made the main focus of this coverage. RÚV also repeated falsehoods concerning the company Cape Cod FS.

DNB Bank has been under investigation, both by the Norwegian Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet) and by Økokrim. These investigations have focused on various aspects of the bank's operations, e.g. the bank's general systems to detect money laundering. RÚV, on the other hand, only covered DNB's transactions with companies affiliated with Samherji. This seems to have been done to give the impression that transactions with these companies are the only reason for the bank being investigated. This must be considered a rather dishonest presentation of news by RÚV.


Payments to crew members were made suspicious

One of the things that RÚV saw reason to cover once again last night are payments from bank accounts in DNB, owned by companies affiliated with Samherji, to the company Cape Cod FS. As has been previously stated many times, the sole purpose of Cape Cod FS was to handle payments to the crews on vessels in the operations in Namibia. Therefore, all payments to Cape Cod FS were made to ensure that foreign crews were paid on time, which was complicated due to the capital controls in force in Namibia. The arrangement was explained in a mini-documentary that Samherji produced and published earlier this year.

Samherji neither owned nor managed Cape Cod FS because the owner of 100% of the share capital is JPC Shipmanagement, which provided companies affiliated with Samherji with crewing of vessels in the group's operations and is owned by German individuals. Cape Cod FS had a tax domicile in Cyprus, but since the company was registered in the Marshall Islands, RÚV repeatedly tries to imply that some payments went to the Marshall Islands, which is not the case. This is somewhat surprising because Samherji has three times before had to correct news coverage of the company Cape Cod FS.

"It does not matter how many times we correct these misconceptions about Cape Cod. They never make their way to the RÚV newsroom which repeatedly tries to make payments to crews look suspicious. It is one thing to broadcast a falsehood once, but to repeat these same misrepresentations, after they have been corrected, confirms that these people are deliberately making erroneous statements," says Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji.


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Margrét Ólafsdóttir