Finally, FINALLY, a freezing order has been imposed on the assets of two of Iceland’s [former] moguls – Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson and Hannes Smárason.
There has been much talk lately about the evident mismanagement of funds in FL Group, of which Hannes Smárason was CEO and which was a subsidiary of Baugur Group. The issue first came up in 2007 when there was a crisis in the company — it later transpired that there were billions of ISK in miscellaneous costs that could not be adequately accounted for. Taxation authorities are now looking into whether these should have been listed as personal benefits and if they were, old Hannes and Jón Ásgeir will have to cough up a few bob in taxes. Until such a time, assets valued at hundreds of millions of ISK have been frozen.
And yes, we are asking why this wasn’t done earlier and why not in connection with a criminal investigation, but as we say in Iceland, Það er sama hvaðan gott kemur — It doesn’t matter where good things come from. [Well, almost.]
Meanwhile, the gross mismanagement of funds in this country in the years leading up to the collapse is just so unbelievable that the mind completely boggles. It really raises the question of whether covert bribery wasn’t actually the order of the day in those years, for it seems this Banana Rep society was awash in that kind of activity. There are many such patterns that are becoming clear after the publication of the Black Report. More on that later, perhaps.