The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has recently issued a warning about an internet-based fraud concerning non-existent cargoes of sugar, which could cost the sugar industry millions of dollars.
Investigations by the ICC’s crime fighting arm – Commercial Crime Services (CCS) – have found an increase over the last few months of fraudulent contracts for sugar cargoes. These contracts bear similarities to a rash of cases in the mid 1990s – except they have now moved online.
CCS officials say that some websites are using “supermarket tactics” to advertise cargoes of sugar that may not actually exist, urging buyers to “SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!”
CCS advises that the contracts being offered contain a number of suspicious features that highlight the questionable nature of the transaction. These are all warning signs seen in the mid 1990s. The following should alert traders to the possibility of a fraudulent transaction:
ICC states that a good way to avoid becoming a victim is to be familiar with the terms and conditions of legitimate sugar contracts. Where this is not possible, traders should consider having all documents and offers checked by CCS prior to entering into a deal.
There are reliable websites available for sugar transactions – the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) affiliated www.sugaronline.com being just one of them. It is reported that this organisation has 61 member countries representing 79% of world sugar production and 91% of world exports.
For further information see the ICC website: http://www.iccwbo.org/home/news_archives/2002/sugar_fraud.asp
Source of Information:
International Chamber of Commerce