Norway's DNB to investigate allegedly improper Icelandic payments to Namibia

FILE PHOTO: A view of DNB bank's local office in Riga, Latvia November 20, 2013. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian bank DNB DNB.OL is investigating media allegations that an Icelandic company transferred money via the bank to bribe Namibian officials, DNB said on Wednesday.

Iceland’s public broadcaster reported on Tuesday that fisheries group Samherji had made illicit payments worth millions of dollars to secure fishing quotas in Namibia.

“We are of course investigating the claims,” DNB said of the report.

Separately, Namibian media reported that two Namibian ministers had resigned from their cabinet positions on Wednesday following the Icelandic news report.

The Namibian government had no immediate comment.

Samherji said in a statement it had hired a law firm to investigate the allegations.

“We have engaged the international law firm Wikborg Rein in Norway to investigate the activities in Namibia. In this investigation, nothing will be excluded and we will disclose its findings as soon as they become available,” it added.

Wikborg Rein was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

Samherji was not available for further comment when contacted by Reuters.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Gwladys Fouche in Oslo and Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen; Editing by Mark Potter