146 - 06/00 - Fraudulent Claims for Services - Port Said - Egypt

We have recently been made aware of new fraudulent practices in Egypt.

In one case a Member received an invoice for "garbage removal" in Port Said. The invoice had apparently been signed by the ship's master and stamped with the ship's stamp. On further investigation the document was found to be fraudulent. The master's signature and the ship's stamp had been scanned from an official document. Two weeks later the same Member received another fraudulent invoice for a different ship.

In an earlier case a more substantial sum was demanded from a tanker operator for clean up costs following an oil spill which had not occurred. In the latter case the ship was arrested and in order to reduce the losses caused by the delay, a payment was made to the claimant. The local court had postponed proceedings and had refused to order the claimant to accept a bank guarantee to cover the disputed debt.

It is highly unlikely that these are isolated cases and we would strongly recommend Members to thoroughly and carefully review all invoices submitted for services rendered in this area.

Investigations are being undertaken and on completion additional advice will be circulated.

Source of Information:

Susanne Hall (L7)

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Thomas Miller & Co Ltd

Date23/03/2009

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