Fishrot vessel “Heinaste” sold to Tunacor Group

The midwater trawl vessel “Heinaste”, which was arrested late in 2019 by Namibia’s Attorney-General, following the #Fishrot scandal, has been sold to Tunacor Group for approximately N$275 million. The money will remain deposited into a State protected fund, pending the outcome of the criminal trial faced by the #Fishrot accused.

In the last months of 2019 an international scandal was uncovered where Namibian fishing quotas were dished out to the Icelandic seafood giant Sanjeri International in return for bribes.
By November of 2019 the then Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau, and Justice Minister Sackey Shangala, were implicated as the main players in this scandal.
Namibia’s Head of State Dr Hage Geingob demanded their immediate resignation and within weeks the two ministers were behind bars. More accused were arrested later: Tamson Hatuikulipi, James Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo. The five accused stand accused of corruption, fraud, and tax evasion.
The Heinaste was docked at the new passenger liner terminal in the port of Walvis Bay. The many months alongside resulted in the vessel starting to deteriorate.
Tunacor approached the Government with an offer to charter the vessel. It was turned down. Tunacor came up with an alternative and placed an offer to purchase the vessel.
The sales price was set at US$18 million.
The vessel is currently undergoing repairs on one of the floating docks of Namdock and will soon be ready to start fishing operations. The reintroduction of Heinaste into the fishing industry has several advantages. It led to the re-employment of the crew and the vessel is also ad-ding catching capacity for Tunacor.
Tunacor’s current fleet consists of Jupiter, Carapau (25 % shareholding) and the two wet horse mackerel vessels Omake and Katima. Adding Heinaste to the fleet is a major advantage for Tunacor, a person close to the operations said this week.

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