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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter January 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Limit Exposure with the Uniform Commercial Code

Demanding assurance pursuant to the UCC may save you from sinking on someone else’s ship. Vessel operations require a large network of companies that come together

Subchapter M: The Designated Person Ashore and You

As the workboat industry marches toward Subchapter M, and ever closer to the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, the appointment of a Designated Person Ashore (DPA) becomes more important,

N.Korean Navy Incursion Draws Warning Shots

A North Korean patrol boat crossed into South Korean waters early on Monday and retreated after the South Korean navy fired warning shots, a South Korean military official said.

Finance

Australia Submarines: Japan Vs France

While Japan is confident it has proven itself the best contender to build Australia's new submarines, the French have moved to undermine Japan’s bid to build the navy’s new submarines.

Limit Exposure with the Uniform Commercial Code

Demanding assurance pursuant to the UCC may save you from sinking on someone else’s ship. Vessel operations require a large network of companies that come together

Baltic Index Touches New Record Low

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying industrial commodities, registered a new all-time low on Monday on muted vessel demand.

Energy

Hess sells Shannon LNG Terminal

New York-based energy company Hess has sold Shannon LNG, a proposed gas-import terminal in County Kerry, Ireland’s Sunday Independent has reported.   The newspaper

ALMACO Wins Statoil Order for 450 Cabins

ALMACO Group was awarded the contract to build 450 NORSOK-compliant Modular Cabins for Statoil’s Johan Sverdrup fixed platform at Apply Leirvik’s yard in Stord, Norway.

Oversupplied Market Eyes Floating Storage Opportunities

Brent oil price reached lows of $27/bbl in mid-January, but has recovered over the past two weeks to above the $30/bbl mark. Nevertheless, volatility is expected

Maritime Security

Australia Submarines: Japan Vs France

While Japan is confident it has proven itself the best contender to build Australia's new submarines, the French have moved to undermine Japan’s bid to build the navy’s new submarines.

Elbit Systems Introduces Seagull

Israel’s Elbit Systems unveiled a prototype of what it claims is the world’s first unmanned system for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions.   Developed in less

Hapag-Lloyd Sees Uptick of Incorrectly Declared Dangerous Goods

Year-on-year increase of 65 percent; more than 4,300 cases worldwide   Container shipper Hapag-Lloyd said it registered considerably more incorrectly declared dangerous goods last year,

News

IOCs Stress on OSV Fuel Management Performance

Growing insistence by international oil companies (IOCs) that oilfield contract vessels (OSVs) are fitted with fuel monitoring systems has prompted an upsurge in

CMA CGM Increases Port Calls and TEU Capacity

French container line CMA CGM has announced imminent changes to its PCRF line service which links Northern Europe with the French West Indies, by adding two new

China's LNG Demand Falls

China's import of  liquefied natural gas (LNG) fell 1.1% in 2015, marking the first year-on-year decline since imports began in 2006, according to a report by

Offshore Energy

China's LNG Demand Falls

China's import of  liquefied natural gas (LNG) fell 1.1% in 2015, marking the first year-on-year decline since imports began in 2006, according to a report by

ALMACO Wins Statoil Order for 450 Cabins

ALMACO Group was awarded the contract to build 450 NORSOK-compliant Modular Cabins for Statoil’s Johan Sverdrup fixed platform at Apply Leirvik’s yard in Stord, Norway.

Three Dead on Pemex Platform, Fire Under Control

Three workers were killed and at least seven injured when a fire broke out on a Pemex oil processing platform in the Gulf of Mexico, but the latest in a string of incidents is now under control,

 
 
Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1068 sec (9 req/sec)