The National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) finally has access to its accounts that were frozen by the Bank of Namibia in February and can now attend to pressing operational and financial needs.
The accounts of the State-owned company were frozen by the central bank due to possible links to money laundering and bribery emanating from the ‘Fishrot’ corruption scandal.
Chairperson of Fishcor’s temporary board Heinrich Mihe Gaomab II confirmed access to the frozen funds.
“The Board further similarly informs the public on the positive developments of the unfreezing of the account of Fishcor to attend to its urgent and pressing financial and operational matters,” read Gaomab’s statement.
The Bank of Namibia had blocked Fishcor’s accounts in terms of Exchange Control Regulations, as the central bank felt it had reasonable grounds to investigate all accounts possibly linked to the Fishrot scandal, which could have violated central bank regulations. However, at a recent media briefing in the capital, Gaomab remained adamant the funds were in no way linked to the ongoing Fishrot investigation.
“The temporary board of Fishcor resolves to inform the nation that the Bank of
Namibia has on the full cooperation provided and information discovery availed by Fishcor in terms of the Fishcor Act 1991 and in compliance to the Bank’s regulation of 22A (2) (c) unfrozen the account of Fishcor, which was made in terms of regulation 22A (1)(b) of the Exchange Control Act by Bank of Namibia,” read Gaomab’s statement.
Moreover, Gaomab added that Fishcor expressed its full confidence in the integrity of the investigations and expressed its continued cooperation with the investigations launched against the accounts associated with Fishcor. Also, Fishcor further maintained its support to the pursuit and regulatory intervention of any investigations due in terms of the governance mandate bestowed upon the temporary board in terms of the Public Enterprise Governance Act.
Gaomab had towards the end of February lamented the escalating operational challenges at the State-owned entity, saying authorities had assured the board that accounts would be unfrozen.
He noted that the funds were desperately needed to pay employees and to attend to other financial obligations emanating from activities that include more than 80 000 metric tons of horse mackerel Fishcor was allocated for the current fishing season.