Jo Lunder, CEO of the Fredriksen Group, was arrested by police in Norway late on Wednesday night and charged with corruption, reports say.
Lunder (pictured) was apprehended at Oslo’s Gardemoen airport after arriving back in Norway on the last flight from London, according to Norwegian press reports. He is now in police custody, awaiting questioning.
His lawyer Cato Schiøtz told NRK that he is not yet sure of the background of charges against Lunder, but reports suggest it is likely to relate to corruption at telecoms firm VimpelCom, of which Lunder was formerly chief executive.
VimpelCom, which is part-owned by Telenor, is under investigation in other countries for corrupt business practices related to the mobile telephone market in Uzbekistan. Schiøtz said Lunder denied being involved in any illegal dealings.
Lunder resigned from VimpelCom in March this year, having been its chief executive since 2011. At the time, VimpelCom said that the resignation was “entirely independent of the corruption investigation” of the company. According to the press release that announced his resignation, Lunder was to act as a consultant to VimpelCom over a transitional period until July 13 this year.
In May, Lunder was appointed head of the Fredriksen Group, which manages John Fredriksen’s interests in his group companies Frontline, Seadrill, Golden Ocean, fish farm company Marine Harvest and other firms.