|Vinacas suggested that shipping lines should apply “Urgent” measures, temporarily hold the consignments that are located at the port and will arrive at the port|
The Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) has just updated information related to a case of suspected fraud to appropriate 36 containers of cashew kernels for export to Italy.
Specifically, with the documents sent to a Turkish bank, Vinacas said, according to the instructions of the buyer, the exporter submitted the original documents including the original bill of lading to the bank in Vietnam in order to ask for sale proceeds. After that, the bank in Vietnam sent the original documents to the bank in Turkey via DHL express service.
However, after receiving the original set of documents from DHL, the Turkish bank informed the Vietnamese bank that the buyer was not their customer, and they announced that they had returned the documents. But the Vietnamese bank checked with DHL about the delivery status according to the AWB number provided by the Turkish bank, and was told that this AWB number had nothing to do with the Vietnamese bank. The Vietnamese bank called about the status of the returned documents but they received no reply.
Meanwhile, with the sets of documents sent to banks in Italy, the Italian banks have all informed the Vietnamese banks that they had received the documents from DHL, but the copies were not the originals.
Currently, businesses are very worried because they do not know where the original documents are, so the goods may be appropriated. The reason is that the goods are delivered in batches so there are containers that have already arrived at Italian ports. Detecting signs of fraud, Vietnamese businesses and banks have made efforts to find ways to keep goods and withdraw documents.
As of the afternoon of March 9, 2022, 36 sets of documents of 36 containers were “out of control” of businesses and banks.
On March 8, Vinacas sent a document to the Vietnamese Embassy and Trade Office in Italy for support. The Commercial Counselor in Italy went directly to the port to help handle temporarily undelivered containers that have arrived at the port. The Ministry of Industry and Trade also worked with the Italian Embassy in Hanoi to request intervention and ask for help for Vietnamese businesses.
On the morning of March 9, 2022, Vinacas organized a meeting with banks and businesses. The banks confirmed the above situation; at the same time, they agreed to coordinate with Vinacas and businesses to find a solution.
On the afternoon of March 9, 2022, Vinacas held a meeting with shipping lines, but only representatives of the agent of Cosco in Vietnam attended. This representative said that he had received feedback from businesses, reported to the headquarters in China and reported to its agent in Italy.
However, agents in Vietnam and Italy are waiting for a response from the head office. In principle, when the buyer brings the original documents to receive the goods, the shipping lines must deliver the goods, otherwise, they may face litigation by the buyer.
On March 10, 2022, Vinacas sent documents to the relevant shipping lines. In this document, Vinacas said, according to Vietnamese businesses and banks, after sending the application from Vietnamese banks to the banks the buyer opened in Italy or Turkey following the instructions of the buyer, the buyer’s bank notified the Vietnamese bank that they had received the set of documents, including the bill of lading, but all of them were copies, not the originals.
Thus, the original documents including the bill of lading were exchanged and replaced with copies or blank papers at some stage during transportation from express delivery to the buyer’s bank. All the shippers have not received the money yet.
Through the assessment, Vinacas and the seller’s banks and businesses believed that this case showed signs of fraud in appropriating the original documents and the original bill of lading in order to appropriate the cashew nut containers at different ports in Italy.
Therefore, Vinacas suggested that shipping lines should apply “Urgent” measures, temporarily hold the consignments that are located at the port and will arrive at the port; not deliver the goods to the consignee even if they present the original bill of lading; only allow the release of goods upon receipt of confirmation from the freight owner. And giving specific instructions for freight owners of goods about the procedure to receive goods.
According to Vinacas, the situation was very urgent because businesses are at risk of losing 36 containers of goods that have been arriving at Italian ports.
Therefore, Vinacas urgently and respectfully requested the Prime Minister to direct relevant ministries and sectors and Interpol Vietnam on the basis of functions and tasks, to closely coordinate and support the businesses.
Furthermore, Vinacas urgently and respectfully requests ministries, sectors and Interpol Vietnam Office with specific, practical and effective measures to support Vinacas and businesses to successfully handle the case; with the objective of retaining shipments that are at the port and will arrive at the port; not release the goods to the consignee even if they present the original bill of lading. At the same time, allowing Vietnamese businesses to receive goods.