ICC: Beware Spurious Oil Fraud Claims

Thursday, March 27, 2014
Photo: ICC

The ICC reported that shipowners are facing new dangers from criminal gangs making spurious oil fraud claims. The “victims”/fraudsters try to extort money from owners by bringing action against them for failing to deliver cargoes of oil they allegedly own.

Such scams were previously confined to West Africa, ICC said, but now appear to have spread to other countries, as a case reported recently to the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) shows.

It involves a vessel that trades regularly into the Arabian Gulf. A claim has been lodged against the shipowner to recover over $50 million, the full value of a consignment of oil. The claimant alleges that the cargo of oil it owns was loaded onto the vessel in Russia but was never delivered to the designated discharge port in the Arabian Gulf. Moreover they apparently have documents to prove this, and a local court in the region has now been persuaded to issue a warrant of arrest against the vessel named in the claim.

The case has put the shipowner in a dilemma. He is reluctant to risk taking the vessel into the jurisdiction where the warrant was issued for fear it will be arrested and he will become embroiled in litigation to get it released. At the same time, he is obliged to enter the region under the terms of the vessel’s current charter party. Defaulting on it would mean he incurs financial penalties.

Another snag in the case is that the documents presented to the court to obtain the arrest warrant appear authentic and confirm that the vessel did load the oil at the Russian port although it had not called at that load port.

IMB, which is assisting the ship owner and seen the documents, are warning other owners to be on their guard. It notes what stands out in this new variation to the West African fraud is the fact that documents produced in this case seem extremely credible, enough to convince courts of the claim.

The new case takes the problem to a new level and presents shipowners with a much bigger danger to their operations because it could seemingly be replicated anywhere around the world and particularly in states whose legal systems are less robust. It also allows the perpetrators to wait for the alleged offending vessel to arrive at the designated country before lodging a claim locally. This could mean that the vessel is trapped before it can act.

“This may be the first of many other similar claims to be lodged against shipowners around the world if organised crime is involved and it is important that information on similar scams are collated,” IMB said.

“If we can build a picture of what is happening it may be possible to identify the perpetrator or at least inform shipowners what to watch out for,” IMB added.

IMB is asking shipowners who have experience or are have suspicions of this new type of crime to contact them so that a suitable response can be coordinated. IMB offers a range of services to assist shipowners in determining the authenticity of trade documents, one of which includes detailed analysis by specialist document checkers.

icc-ccs.org

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Nigerian Oil Workers Call Off Strike After Talks with Government

Nigerian oil workers' unions have called off a four-day strike after reaching a deal with the government in a dispute over pensions, they said on Saturday. A

Nigerian Minister Pledges $1.3 bln for Power Companies

Nigeria's oil minister announced a 213 billion naira (1.3 billion US dollar) bail-out package for power companies on Saturday, nearly a year after the sector was privatised.

Russia's Yamal LNG Project May Tap Wealth Fund in 2014

Russia's Novatek may get funds from the National Wealth Fund for its Yamal LNG project before the year-end, a minister said, as part of government plans to support sanction-hit companies.

Tanker Trends

Ingram Barge Order 20 Tank Barges for 2015

Ingram Barge Company say they will be building 20 tank barges in 2015 to meet growing demand for chemical shipments. While most of the company’s recent tank barges have come through acquisitions,

Finland Grants Support to Three Small LNG Terminals

The Finnish government granted 65.2 million euros (84.22 million US dollar) in subsidies to build three small liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to cut on use

Senator Says 2015 Could Be Time for US Oil Export Bill

The top supporter in the U.S. Congress for reversing the 40-year ban on crude oil exports, Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, said next year could be the time for a bill on lifting the restriction.

Finance

Short-Term Perils of Lower Oil Prices: DW Monday

At present we are seeing lower oil prices as a function of softer demand growth in both Europe and China combined with recent output increases from OPEC, particularly Libya,

Nigerian Minister Pledges $1.3 bln for Power Companies

Nigeria's oil minister announced a 213 billion naira (1.3 billion US dollar) bail-out package for power companies on Saturday, nearly a year after the sector was privatised.

Russia's Yamal LNG Project May Tap Wealth Fund in 2014

Russia's Novatek may get funds from the National Wealth Fund for its Yamal LNG project before the year-end, a minister said, as part of government plans to support sanction-hit companies.

Energy

MHPS's DeNOx System For Power Plant in Poland

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has received an order from ENEA Wytwarzanie S.A., a power producer in Poland, for two sets of selective catalytic reduction

Voith Hydropower Equipment for Thailand's Storage Plant

Voith has been awarded a new contract to supply the complete electromechanical equipment for a pumped storage power plant in Thailand. The order for the extension

Navy, Other Agencies, Award Bio-refinery Contracts to 3 Firms

As part of a 2011 Presidential directive, the Departments of Navy, Energy, and Agriculture have announced that three companies have been awarded contracts to construct

Maritime Security

USCG Crew Rescues Three in Tomales Bay

The Coast Guard rescued three individuals from the water in Tomales Bay, Sunday morning. At approximately 8:30 a.m., Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command

Ban Launches UN Ebola Response Mission

IMO Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has officially established the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response and has instructed the advance teams for

USCG Search for Pompano Beach Diver Near Ft. Lauderdale

Coast Guard crews and other agencies are searching for a missing diver after he never resurfaced one mile east of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Saturday. Missing is Marc Raroha,

News

MHPS's DeNOx System For Power Plant in Poland

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has received an order from ENEA Wytwarzanie S.A., a power producer in Poland, for two sets of selective catalytic reduction

Blood Pumping With Mobile CPR Unit for HII's Newport

Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division partnered with the American Heart Association to teach shipbuilders how to perform hands-only CPR during a demonstration Thursday.

Voith Hydropower Equipment for Thailand's Storage Plant

Voith has been awarded a new contract to supply the complete electromechanical equipment for a pumped storage power plant in Thailand. The order for the extension

Offshore Energy

Nigerian Minister Pledges $1.3 bln for Power Companies

Nigeria's oil minister announced a 213 billion naira (1.3 billion US dollar) bail-out package for power companies on Saturday, nearly a year after the sector was privatised.

Russia's Yamal LNG Project May Tap Wealth Fund in 2014

Russia's Novatek may get funds from the National Wealth Fund for its Yamal LNG project before the year-end, a minister said, as part of government plans to support sanction-hit companies.

Rosneft says Exxon Still Continues to Work With it in Arctic

Russia's biggest oil producer Rosneft said on Saturday that Exxon Mobil was still continuing exploration drilling at their joint project in the Arctic Kara Sea.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2367 sec (4 req/sec)