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IMB warns of West Africa-China pre-financing scam

21 August 2012

The International Maritime Bureau has issued a warning about a pre-financing scam involving importers in West Africa and exporters in China.

Read more: International Maritime Bureau IMB ICC fraud trade scam pre-financing West Africa China Nigeria

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has issued a warning about a pre-financing scam involving importers in West Africa and exporters in China that it says is manipulating the trade finance system to provide unofficial pre-shipment finance based upon false shipping documents.

The IMB first identified the scam when authenticating liner bills of lading submitted by certain banks. Though the shipments details presented matched those of genuine shipments, the documents themselves contained sufficient discrepancies to warrant further investigation. When the purported issuers of the documents were contacted, all major carriers, they confirmed that the documents were not genuine.

IMB director Pottengal Mukundan comments: “False documents indicating cargoes have been shipped are presented under documentary credits to generate funds for the sellers before the shipment is made. Once the funds are released it would appear the goods are shipped. This is an abuse of the documentary credit system which relies upon...


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