Kristian Siem, majority shareholder and board member of Siem Offshore, was blasting the state tax authorities over their raid last week on his company now based in Kristiansand, on Norway’s southern coast.
The tax officials suspect Siem Offshore of evading NOK 50 million (USD 8.3 million) in taxes after failing to deliver tax returns on several of its ships from 2005 to 2008. Siem Offshore’s chief executive Terje Sørensen claims the company wasn’t aware that tax returns needed to be delivered for the vessels that were part of Siem Offshore Inc of the Cayman Islands. “When we were told we must do this, they were of course sent,” Sørensen told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).
Sørensen himself was nonetheless arrested and held at the local police station, which infuriated his boss Kristian Siem. He claimed the action against Sørensen, a single father with a child at home, was overly harsh.
Marianne Bender of Norway’s economic crimes unit Økokrim noted that Sørensen was released after questioning. He remains charged, even though all owed taxes have been paid, with Bender saying the company remains charged with major violations of tax laws.