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

Legal

Antwerp Port Extends Partnership with DMU of China

The port of Antwerp is to collaborate with Dalian Maritime University (DMU) in northern China for the next three academic years. DMU is a prestigious Chinese maritime

Will Maersk Line acquire HMM

There are rumours among observers that the  market leader Maersk Line is planning to acquire South Korea’s shipping major Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).   Neither

Winners of International Seafarers' Welfare Awards

The winners of ISWAN's International Seafarers' Welfare Awards 2016 were announced on 24th June at a high-profile ceremony held in Manila, the Philippines. The

Tanker Trends

VL-exit?

Earlier this week spot returns in the VLCC market touched their lowest level since October 2014, with TCE earnings for Middle East/Japan (TD3) falling close to $20,

RS Rules Conform to the IMO Goal-based Standards

The rules of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping are in conformity to the International Maritime Organization (IMO)goal-based standards (GBS), the IMO’s Maritime

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates to Climb Slowly

Around 47 MidEast charters fixed for July loading so far; older tonnage and new vessels a drag on freight rates. Freight rates for very large crude carriers

Finance

Will Maersk Line acquire HMM

There are rumours among observers that the  market leader Maersk Line is planning to acquire South Korea’s shipping major Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).   Neither

VEB Guarantees $3 Bln of Yamal LNG Debt

Russian development bank VEB said on Friday it had provided a guarantee for $3 billion of debt to the Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, led by Russian gas firm Novatek.

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs after 3 Weeks of Additions

U.S. oil drillers cut rigs this week for a 20th week this year after three weeks of additions, according to a closely followed report on Friday, as crude prices

Maritime Security

HMS Ambush Docks in Gibraltar

Navy nuclear submarine HMS Ambush yesterday steamed to Gibraltar – in a massive show of force against Spain.   The Spanish – emboldened by Britain’s Brexit vote

Indonesia Bans Ships for Philippines

The Indonesian Government has banned vessels flying Indonesias flag from sailing to the Philippines following the latest hostage incident.   According to a report in AP,

US Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Montgomery

The U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) during a ceremony on June 23 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.   Marking the official

News

Austal Delivers Seventh EPF7 to US Navy

Austal Limited (Austal) informed that the U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of USNS Carson City (EPF 7) from Austal USA, during a ceremony held aboard the ship at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile,

Antwerp Port Extends Partnership with DMU of China

The port of Antwerp is to collaborate with Dalian Maritime University (DMU) in northern China for the next three academic years. DMU is a prestigious Chinese maritime

Wärtsilä to Power Two Indian Dredgers

Wärtsilä has won an order for two new 8000m3 trailing suction hopper dredgers being built for the Adani group, India's largest private multi-port operator. The

Offshore Energy

POSH Bags Shell FLNG Contract

Singapore’s offshore marine services provider PACC Offshore Services Holdings Ltd. (POSH) has been awarded a contract to support Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs after 3 Weeks of Additions

U.S. oil drillers cut rigs this week for a 20th week this year after three weeks of additions, according to a closely followed report on Friday, as crude prices

Ulstein Delivers for BS Offshore

The first of two service operation vessels (SOV) ordered in 2015 by Bernhard Schulte Offshore (BS Offshore) and its client Siemens from Ulstein Verft in is now completed,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.1111 sec (9 req/sec)