On 20 July, OCCRP published a report on the “Fishrot” scandal in Namibia says that leaked documents and an affidavit from a whistleblower working at a major Western fishing company (from Iceland) operating in African waters have given rare insight into how food multinationals can shift profits around the world to avoid paying taxes in developing countries. Icelandic fishing giant Samherji supplies sardines and mackerel to major supermarkets such as Tesco and Carrefour. The whistleblower’s complaints were not limited to allegations of bribery – he also claimed Samherji had shifted significant revenues to group companies in what he believed to be a tax avoidance scheme. Arrangements are said to have included sending at least $8.2 million in controversial “fee” payments to the group’s other companies in low-tax Mauritius and the U.K., and selling fish below market prices to group companies in Cyprus.
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