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598 - 8/08 - Fraudulent invoices - Suez Canal area, Egypt
A Member has been presented with a fraudulent invoice for vessel traffic services supposedly provided to a vessel in the Suez Canal area.
The invoice is from a company called Delta Marine Safety and included a forged master’s signature and ship stamp. The master confirmed that no services were requested or rendered from this company - the invoice is a fraudulent document seeking to obtain $3,800 by deception from the Member.
In order to track down the criminals, Signum Services, the Club’s crime investigation branch, attempted to contact Delta Marine Safety in a pretend attempt to pay the invoice but got no response.
The Club’s local correspondent is not aware of a company trading as Delta Marine Safety and advises that this type of fraudulent activity is common in the canal area.
It is not known how the criminals obtained the vessel’s details. They must have seen or obtained documents already stamped by the master in order to copy the stamp and signature.
It is important that masters ensure proper identification of local agent and chandler personnel when coming on board. Use of ship stamps should be strictly controlled and documents presented to the master, for signature and stamp, checked for their correctness.
Source of information:
Derek Birch (L7/S1)
Thomas Miller P&I Ltd.
Direct line: +44 20 7204 2551