Jóhannes Stefánsson is the former Director of Operations in Namibia for Icelandic fishing company Samherji. He worked with anti-corruption authorities and the media to expose a fishing rights bribery scheme in Namibia. Samherji’s CEO was investigated for allegedly approving bribes, estimated at $10 million, to Namibian politicians and companies to illegally obtain offshore fishing rights. In November 2019, several of Namibia’s justice and fisheries ministers resigned and were arrested on corruption charges, along with other prominent Namibian figures. As of February 2021, multiple investigations were underway in several countries with new criminal charges being brought.
Since blowing the whistle, Stefánsson has faced severe retaliation. His employment with Samherji was terminated in 2016, and he believes that he has been poisoned. He is set to return to Namibia to testify in April 2021.