Samherji: Raid ‘completely unjustified’


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 27, 2012

Samherji, one of Iceland’s largest fishing and seafood companies, is calling the Central Bank of Iceland’s decision to raid its Reykjavik and Akureyri offices “completely unjustified.”

The company is suspected of violating the Foreign Exchange Act, but the bank is not offering any details, Reuters reported on Tuesday following the raid. On Wednesday, Samherji CEO Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson confirmed that the bank has not given the company any explanation for the raid.

“Samherji has in every respect complied with the law both as regards foreign exchange transactions and in other matters. The actions taken by the Central Bank of Iceland yesterday are completely unjustified and must either be based on incorrect information or due to other reasons that we are not aware of,” said Baldvinsson.

Samherji said in a statement it has made every effort to comply with the bank’s requirements as it relates to foreign exchange transactions, after Iceland imposed capital controls to protect its currency from a steep drop after the crash of its banking system in late 2008. All procedures have been examined in detail in cooperation with the bank’s staff, according to Samherji.

The bank revealed that its actions were based on information it received from Kastljós, an Icelandic TV new program. Samherji said it is aware that the program has been investigating Samherji’s exports of redfish to Germany, but it added that it cannot respond misrepresentations when it is unclear what the substance of such misrepresentations is. Samherji operates an international sales company based in Akureyri. 

“Such severe and unjustified actions on the part of the Central Bank of Iceland must be considered unique and we declare them to be the full responsibility of those involved,” said Baldvinsson. “I call on the Central Bank to provide its reasoning for the dawn raid so that we can contribute to informing the Central Bank about those aspects for which the Bank wants an explanation and, at the same time, try to limit the damage inflicted on us by these harsh actions.”

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