Anatomy of a Bribe | Al Jazeera Investigations


this film takes you inside a
multimillion-dollar corruption scandal if the minister wants to get paid price
you pay in branch one wasn’t very very careful otherwise recently it’s news the minister will listen in or whatever
until we reveal how an Icelandic company is plundering Africa’s resources by
bribing it’s politicians that need 200 200 at Al Jazeera’s investigative unit
obtains a cache of confidential documents from WikiLeaks this big
corruption scheme goes to the highest level in Namibia that’s buying political
influence that would be corruption the files reveal the two Namibian cabinet
members of the Minister of Fisheries and the Minister of Justice are accused of
accepting bribes who didn’t know that your company was receiving money
well I challenge you that we received it went I’ll show you the banks they intend
and the man who paid the bribes tells his story
I can remember sport bag full of casts the minister was very happy and preciate
it the moment you think about it is the moment you are close to your grief yet
in all weights for five years you Hannah Steffensen
worked for Iceland’s biggest fishing company Sam Harry his main row he says was to obtain
lucrative fishing rights in Africa by any means necessary from 2012 to middle
of 2016 I was paying bribes I was paying illegal payments on behalf of summary
they have probably made 120 150 million u.s. dollar out of it but in 2016
johannes decided to blow the whistle he resigned and left Sam Harry but not
before seizing over 40 gigabytes of emails spreadsheets photographs and
other company data the documents former blueprint of how
foreign company steal resources from African nations they are just dropping the resource of a
African country for their own benefits and they leave nothing left in the
country I knew I had to conform it johannes passed the documents to
Wikileaks who gave them to al Jazeera’s investigative unit and Iceland’s
national broadcaster then needed some repair bribes to get away Sam Harry is a household name in Iceland Sam Headley has developed into a fully
integrated seafood company with operations in the fishing farming and
processing concerns the company presents itself as a family business and
celebrates its produce at an annual gathering for the local community it’s
been run for the last 40 years by Thorsten mom Albertson he’s proud of Sam
Harry’s relationship with quality retailers this was hardly know if his
key hit load and watch what I say to him Donald global brands such as Tesco’s and
Carrefour also sell Sam Harry’s fish generating hundreds of millions of
dollars each year how do you think they view Africa in
their business structure debut Africa just us as a continent to get in cast
that’s it Namibia on the southwest coast of Africa
is a country with a small population and abundant natural resources but a fifth
of its citizens still live in poverty Johana stepheson says that’s because of
companies like the one he used to work for
I would say it’s a very classic story that the best in company comes to
Namibia yeah access by any means to the resource and take all the profits out the documents obtained by Al Jazeera
include a company presentation which describes considerable corruption in
Namibia Sam Harry’s boss Thorsten was polled the company needed
political support to succeed particularly from a man whose name
repeatedly crops up in the files Bernhard a sow a fisheries minister armed with the leaked documents we began
our own investigation into how corruption in Namibia works
we sent Johnny an undercover journalist into the capital wind hook johnny posed
as a representative of wealthy Chinese investors his mission gain access to
lucrative fishing rights which are allocated by the government he sets up a
meeting with a lawyer who we knew had political connections see sanam Angie’s
name appears in the leaked documents they reveal his company received over a
million dollars of unexplained payments from the state-owned fisheries company
he’s also the president of Namibia’s personal lawyer we won’t be very interested in like
resources such as food and vision as actors
Johnny asks ISA to become his local consultant I am there to guide you how
to bleed liquor we want local partners local business people I can also get you
to the right people to speak that’s like sterilization and I do the
river the right to catfish in Namibia is heavily regulated the government is
supposed to allocate fishing quotas based on merit and foreign investors
need to operate alongside a Namibian company the ultimate aim is that the
profits remain in the country to ensure that as much benefits comes to Namibians
as possible the lawyer CSUN a mangie has set up a
meeting for Johnny with a prominent businessman you know God for your sake
kid Allah runs a large Namibian fishing company called Omalu
he listens to Johnny’s proposal we could like invests and the UK is the wattage
and specialty to keep one in the business for the sense I expand the
culture there you give him mr. mom some food for
thought Sachi invites Jonny to visit his company’s facilities well to what would you have he suggests
they go into business together the plan is to set up a joint venture with his
fishing company my Lou Saeki soon reveals why the proposed
joint venture is a guaranteed moneymaker he claims he can use public officials in
Namibia to bypass the fishing laws we could find somebody in the ministry and
then you could also blades in their company Sachi can then ensure that the
joint venture will always catch enough fish that per sentence only for the
influencer to ensure that the mile always gets a quarter for now he doesn’t say who this public
official would be in 2012 yojanas was looking to break
into the Namibian fishing industry he was introduced to a local deal maker
Tamzin had to cool EP Thompson is the fixer he finds write foreign companies
he talks to his people and they connect and together tamson connected your hands to his
cousin James article EP a local entrepreneur James is the mastermind of
the set up of the companies how payments are done he does the business part of
the chorus of King James and Tamsin hat Raquel EP would become central enablers
in Sam harry’s bribery scheme through their close relations to Tamsin’s
father-in-law Namibia’s Minister of Fisheries Bernhard a sow if the power
brokers were doing the deals directly themselves they’d probably be too exposed but when
the lid is lifted you often see that the people behind that company a middleman
notorious for corrupt deals enablers like Tamsin and his cousin
James as well as our contacts a key unknown in the trade as sharks Tamsin’s first job for Sam Harry was to
connect your Hanna’s and his boss Thorsten with their high-level political
contact this was the big woman for the month there were the two big people meeting
the decision-maker of Samara toaster this is a maker in albia the minister
facili a song this meeting was about building trust
because the trust is so important in a big correction scheme moisture in urine
you don’t get so easily out for delivering this meeting the leaked
documents reveal the Tamsin was paid thirty eight thousand US dollars three
weeks after the first meeting with our enabler Sachi
he tells Johnny he has the political connection we need our undercover
reporter was led to the same man that johannes met at the party the Minister
of Fisheries holy spirits and the Oberon contribution did efficient industry it’s
awkward pattern which Ricci I’m very happy to hear that he is a Camilla to
Namibia think we look at of j60 the sow presides over an industry worth
three-quarters of a billion dollars a year the minister tells our reporter he
should use a private number to contact him thank you thanks that he also asks
about a phone that would make his life easier
it’s only in China where you get hopefully you cc you can begin to this
release what’s your favorite romantic dinner the meeting with the minister is
a success and Sachi will soon suggest our first deal thank you again thank you
so much Saeki has invited Johnny to a trade fair
organised by the National fishing corporation of Namibia known as fish
core it’s a government-run company Mike no Campania is fish course CEO each year
the fisheries minister assigns fish core thousands of tonnes of fishing quotas
which they then sell to private companies then I can sell it in the market the
quote is that fish core cells can generate millions of dollars in fish
sales bidding for them is meant to be highly competitive but accursed Johnny
is backed by sake Mike says he can help them bypass any competition so you have
sake before reporters a few days later Saki arranges another
meeting with Mike a deal is struck to guarantee fiscal quotas for Johnny and
sakis joint venture Johnny will hand over 20% of the company
to Mike as well as half a million u.s. dollars Mike will then ensure the quotas
are given to Johnny’s joint venture with Sachi he will make sure that you get
that winter and it’s in his interest because by nature having 50 percent his
interest in the operations Mikey’s came to use Saki to hide his
involvement their annual deal then it becomes the dependent that – –
to support you then 20% I’m going to do all the on his behalf to hide Mike’s 20% share in our company
and the half-a-million dollar payment Saeki offers to launder the funds
through one of his company’s spk consulting this is my company of which
I’m the only shareholder and I’m the only director person ok then that is the
only reason why we use in this company because we don’t want anybody else
asking questions then nobody will find out that you are we showed a Namibian
professor of law the evidence that our undercover reporter had gathered about
fish course CEO as a CEO he would be acting in two capacities as a private
citizen and as an official and in both cases he is the beneficiary of that
that’s just illegal that would land him in prison in 2013 Johanna says he was asked to
provide a payment for fisheries minister Verner Dessau in return for securing
fishing quotas the request was made by Tamsin attica lippie Thomson called me
and asked if we could give the minister 60 thousand US dollars I called one of
the key manager of summary he told me be honest if Minister fishery wants to get
paid price you pay in bribes I gave him a sport bag full of cash
two days later the tension set the minister was very happy appreciated a
year after the payment was made minister sow appointed a new chairman of fish
core while Mike knew Campania is the CEO the man appointed to head the company
with Tamsin’s cousin James had a clippie which James has a hat of fish core he
made sure that maturity of the fishing quotas goes to summary even though some
of the other companies were willing to pay higher price the documents reveal that Sam Harry made
payments of over four and a half million u.s. dollars into companies owned by
Tamsin had a khalipa James becomes the chairman of fish
Gordon the companies that are getting the money are linked to Thompson this
looks very much like bribery Sam Harry has some very difficult explaining to do the Minister of Fisheries Bernhard a sow
has flown to Tokyo on official business our undercover reporter Jonny arranges
to meet him for dinner I’ve been here many times it’s like very famous
restaurant an election is soon to take place in
Namibia and the minister asks Johnny to help the ruling party first Johnny says
he knows a factory that can do the job I was on smokiest he gives the minister
the phone he wanted Johnny then explains that he needs the minister’s support to
secure fishing quotas overseas the relationship with local is really the minister suggests that we donate to
his reelection campaign yes some people yes dear he then asks for a second donation to
the ruling party known as SWAPO you’ve made an anger EVF Anderson are aging to
the bottom before they literally want you yes yes yes yeah you can add videos
I will call fresh phones next digit said look you may be able to fly to the house
which we can just talk let’s see what conveyancer Minister a sow and all those implicated
in the leaked documents are members of Namibia’s ruling party the Southwest
Africa people’s organization or SWAPO SWAPO was born out of Namibia’s
independent struggle Namibia is forever filled swap with the one that we breathe
in the country but there is no separation of power the party has won every election since
independence in 1990 and controls all public institutions corruptions become the Vltava tea
the moment you speak about it is the moment you are close to your grave yet
in all ways johanna says the corruption he
experienced went right to the top of the party in 2014 he was asked for a
political donation by James had a Kelly P on behalf of the incoming president
Hagee gang gob James called me and asked us to pay him one hundred and forty
thousand huge dollar because the president needed to pay his fellowship
members whose was an election coming in the party
two months later leaked emails appear to confirm that a payment equivalent to a
hundred and forty thousand US dollars was made it was said to be for the party
we have no evidence that president gain gob had personal knowledge of this
I called Thurston the CEO of summary and asked if you should do it and he
immediately gave a green light so we paid James which was meant for the
president the discussion about our payment to the
Namibian Minister of Fisheries continues is for the lead on air pollution
pollution air pollution every century to Eternity failure giving some to receive to continue we need affirmative editing
very very editing whoever said you better stand up and I
will give you reduce the RICO statute the Minister suddenly changes his mind
instead of going to his account he wants the money sent to sack iike Dilla
the enabler who introduced us to him probably used to have the most respected
have a city she is we needed 200 to dinner the minister and
two other Namibian politicians invite Johnny to celebrate the deal in a
hostess bar the following day the fisheries minister
meets Johnny again he wants to make sure remains hidden hey there’s not always easy sun feeds
news in 2013 johannes claims that Sam Harry
were deepening their ties to the SWAPO party leadership they invited James and Tamsin ethically
P on a trip to Iceland to meet with Sam Harry CEO Thorsten marble Woodson
accompanying them was a rising star in the party
Saeki Shang gala at the time a close advisor to the president he went on to
become the Minister of Justice how do you do the level of corruption going on
in the media now and what can be done by your office to try to stop some of it
thank you for asking that I have been at the forefront of reforming the fishing
industry so we have all the legislation in place
and what we’ve picked up is that yes there are levels of corruption very
miniscule it’s not really an issue were worried about in 2014 shangela was the architect of an
even bolder attempt by Sam Harry to increase its access to fish in Africa that year Angola and Namibia signed an
international agreement a deal allowing an Angolan company rights to Namibian
fishing quotas it was supposed to be beneficial for both Namibia and Angola
but the true motivation was that the Sharks have found a way to access photos we have no evidence that Angola
ministers were involved in any wrongdoing the quota was officially
awarded to a company Kananga ma Pesce johanna says it was a front company
controlled by the Namibian sharks the bilateral agreement between on : AM BIA
was just to get fishing quota in Namibia for the Sharks a few months after nan Gama Pesce was
awarded the fishing quota a confidential meeting took place at Sam Harry’s
headquarters in Iceland James and Tamsin Hattie Kelly P were there but the man
who led the Namibian delegation was Sachi shangela Sachi gave a presentation
to Thornton the boss of Sam Harry he outlined how Sam Harry could buy the
quotas from nan Gama Pesce they had to move fast the opportunity we have is not
available to everyone he wrote we need to move before everyone wakes up according to your Hanna’s it was sakis
political connections that made the deal happen roller hockey is more political to get a bilateral agreement like that
in place you need very big political support I spoke to you Hannah Steffensen
he said when he was operating in Namibia corruption was rife and that he had to
pay what he calls bribes to politically well-connected individuals to obtain
access to fishing quota does that sound familiar to you it was actually corrupt
before we came in you had a lot of people who understood that once I have a
fishing right I can get rich quick soon after the trade deal was signed a
Sam Harry bought Nanga Mars quota they paid Mangum are 2.2 million US dollars
over four years well below the market rate but they transferred a further four
million to a Dubai company ton devala owned by fish cause chairman James had a
Cali peep the money some repaid the bank account
of James into PI was for James to distribute further like to the minister
fishery to other sharks and also possibly to the vicar picker politicians
in the country the invoices for almost all of the payments at Sam Harry made to
James and Tamsin had a collie P described the services they provided as
consultancy this use of the word consultancy is
typical in bribery deals it given that there’s very strong evidence bribery
occurred and that the bribes were channeled through a myriad of mysterious
entities offshore companies and entrusts I think there are ample grounds is to
investigate Sam Harry and his associates for money laundering the documents also appear to suggest
that Shang gala has been receiving money for securing the angolan deal for Sam
Harry you know one of the well-connected political individuals that you Hannah
Steffensen said he paid was you I haven’t received payment from him maybe
he has evidence to that he should prove it and I should in and he should be
investigated of the 2.2 million dollars that Sam Harry paid to nagamaki ESCA
mangamma Pesce transferred three quarters of a million dollars to a
company called Ottawa fika logistics shortly afterwards large payments were
transferred to two companies that shangela and James owned one a layer
investments received three hundred and thirty thousand dollars the other
received a hundred and seventy thousand dollars you and your business partner
James had a clue P owned two companies that received hundreds of thousands of
dollars from companies that are getting paid by Sam Harris
now that is not true III don’t have no recollection of money coming from any
relationship with some marriage yet the documents we obtain showed a money trail
from Sam Harry to the company shangela owned with James had a collie P layer
investments olia is a company I own that received $300,000 from companies that
have received large payments from the Nanga model he’s paid by Sam Harry since
I’m not a a director running the company I wouldn’t know but the auditors are
there why are you you didn’t know that your company was receiving money from
Sam Harry subsidiary well I challenge you that we received the monies thanks
for have you seen the bank statements here I showed the minister evidence of
one of those payments seventeen thousand dollars paid from auto fika into a layer
what did the layer do for us I think which is why they’re getting well look I
would give evidence put me before a court of law
put me before an investigating officer and the auditors are there and then they
answer and then we finished so you are to the payments from Africa into a layer
they have nothing to do with summer my answer to you is mr. Johannes Steffensen
very simple question the payment amounts of a fika to a layer up like the ends
what would the – my wholesome picker to allay my aunt were they for her listen
when I went to the Law Reform Development Commission I handed over all
powers to run all my entities and I handed it over to people and you don’t
see any benefit of that well what I’m saying is alia is a company run not by
me but by mr. chuka leaping over your benefit I told well look what have you
say you need a fit from that company you take shares when I company do you take
dividends from that company we haven’t declared evidence in a while that’s fine
if I recall when they have received the payment suicide pay – nom Kumar they
give the best regards and said thank you for the payments including sake James
and counsel well you see you you have you totally
believe mr. Johannsen and therefore it is difficult for me to convince you
otherwise James hatrock LEP and Sachi Shan gala
broke the law according to an expert who viewed our evidence they are both
officials of the government it appears that a obviously central roles to play
in establishing this deal now they’re getting paid in their private capacities
that’s illegal there’s no doubt about it our undercover team had met the
fisheries minister in Tokyo now they were back in Namibia our enabler Sachi
Cadell earth is on the phone to Johnny Sack he had just met the minister
Bernhard a sow okay we will do that 175 okay so for the donation with the $200,000 figure agreed our
undercover reporter meets a key to finalize details I want to ask you Sachi explains how they intend to keep
the transfer hidden they asked for the money to be placed in a trust account
managed by the president personal lawyer CSUN a mangie you would take it from
Cesare and then you will give it to the minister yeah the minister or listen or
whatever insolence the expense for the thief and now that you float to hide the true beneficiary of the
money Sachi instructs us to use a fake payment reference number the money will
now appear to be an investment in a local housing development run by a
company called unbundle investments we need to keep it hidden right like is
this the same way that it lies when the That is why when the payment is made, it must be made with a reference that Sisa gave. We can’t mention anything about a party or missing which
the minister or the management them and the second page so now this while doing
is paying physicists around with a reference number he also has to report
and they and they monitor the account which but if they ask him then he says
that math is useful for each development and and they will respect Sparkle um bondo investments the company being
used to hide our $200,000 payment to the Minister owns this development called
ocean view our undercover reporter visited the sales agent basically the ocean okay
that’s her view incident area when they build it they it they worship you been a
very far from the ocean the plan is for the payment to be lost amongst the
investment in construction so it won’t be flagged as a suspected bribe they’re
setting out or the crooks as they as they go and if you want if you want them
to build a hospital Universal what you know about investments citrus I know
that trust is what’s my name’s sir give a dinner the sales agent does indeed
know sake kid illa a trustee of in bondo investments she’s sakis wife that’s obviously hiding the origin of
the money and I think the ultimate destination of the money that’s money
laundering it’s quite a serious offense it’s criminal or you go to prison for it
that is before you even get to know flywheels we’re dealing with this with
and Minister is okay with arrangement that’s why the municipal vision
statement so means the two hundred thousand can reach the minister no one
sits in society on you then you are sure that this reached the minister Johnny
then visits the lawyer cease in a mangie to confirm the money will make it to
minister a sow the money that we want to give to the
minister we put it in trust going to be speaking to people playing future
Caesar warns us to be discreet to be paid in what money I also do not want to
be involved in that I must inspire once money comes in either people’s activity
find where the money can start yet we haven’t discussed you guys she will know
how to channel he has a very good relationship with a penis ceases account may have been used to
launder funds before the documents indicate that a total of
1.2 million u.s. dollars were deposited in Caesars trust by the state-run
company fish core after James hat okely P became its chairman with a plan to launder the bribe in
place Johnny meets Minister Sal for a final
dinner we want to send you the payment then we will do with yeah is that okay
is it correct to $200,000 but it’s Syria we won’t be careful for that our visit
fine art and to keep what is it I think it’s a money launderer he is all about
this way is Filner season Scotties Rafa there would be ways of explaining why
you are Minister a South didn’t reply to a request for an interview let’s find out now about the initiatives
and challenges that being faced in Namibia
he was busy attending a conference on the importance of transparency in
fishing we needed fisheries resources to build our small and young economy
hence we made sure that access to our fisheries is right based our team was
also there are you the ones who send me messages yet this is a video of you and
here you’re talking about accepting bribery nor up to $200,000 from way from
Chinese investors no no no no no I have to get this I need to get more
information on this you know a criminal code somebody in Iceland you have been
in in close connection with somebody no no I know they are fishing in Olivia you met with the CIA side they came to
Namibia come in to explain in a sauce with what I would say I manipulate do
you know about all the payments that somebody has been paying to your
son-in-law I don’t you know nothing about that see
about what about the payments they are made to to a company and to buy which is
owned by James Hutton Philip II don’t know I don’t know it’s just I don’t you
don’t know anything about I don’t know anything
yes you’re here today to speak about transparency but still I have a video
talking about money laundering and I am resorts for a business a lot involved in
money laundering we also wanted Sam Harry’s boss Thorsten
mob al vitsin to comment on our evidence thinking I think it Masada it’s really a
fellow who would tell them we’ll have it out the fiddler at the you have to give
it to me if I know it’s a it’s an orc amalgamin Yohannes is in berlin to
deliver sign testimony about the corruption at Sam Harry
since blowing the whistle he travels with bodyguards course I’m afraid
I am very high on their hit list today he’s taking his evidence to the Namibian
embassy hoping that it will be passed to the country’s anti-corruption
investigators I believe it’s my best decision my life is to come forward and
do my part Yanis you’ve committed crimes yourself
there are going to be people who say you should go to jail as well I’m for sure
part of the crash and I’m for sure in a risk to go to jail if that is the cost I
have to pay two exposes I have long time ago
come to terms of that get away from me we can meet in the
courts of law your son-in-law accepted money from fun design a summary you said
that he was gonna bring that money to you were you aware of that go and
investigate some other things

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